Express & Star

HS2 work in Staffordshire 'in limbo' after Government delay announcement

Work on HS2 in Staffordshire has been left in limbo amid confusion over a delay in the construction of the budget-busting line.

The announcement of a delay to phase two of HS2 has sparked confusion over a stretch of the line in Staffordshire

The Government has announced that all work on the second phase of HS2 between Birmingham and Crewe will be suspended for two years due to spiralling costs.

But confusion has reigned over the stretch from Birmingham to the West Coast Mainline link at Handsacre, which forms part of the first phase.

The Government announcement led to signs appearing around Lichfield saying work had been "postponed until August 2025".

But those signs have now been removed following the intervention of the Department for Transport, and ministers now say they expect work on the stretch to continue as planned.

Rail Minister Huw Merriman said in the Commons: "Those parts of the HS2 network where construction is going on will actually be completed and we will do that timescale that I have talked to."

The construction of HS2 has seen parts of the county turned into a building site, with roads and footpaths closed, ancient woodland destroyed and homes taken over.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has called for clarity on the status of the works in Staffordshire.

He told the Express & Star: "I know that signs saying the HS2 work has halted around Lichfield have now been removed under instruction from the Department for Transport, but there is still uncertainty as to whether or not construction will continue around Lichfield.

"A major turn off into Lichfield off the A38 has been closed, as have other minor roads and footpaths. Either this work has got to continue at a pace so that these routes can reopen, or, if it is decided that work is halted, there needs to be remedial action, including the immediate reopening of those thoroughfares.

"I am hoping that within the next two weeks, the Treasury, the DfT and HS2 will have made a decision. I understand that the DfT wants the work north of Birmingham, around Lichfield, to continue unimpeded."

Earlier this week Mr Fabricant told the Commons that the "misery and inconvenience" the works had caused to residents "cannot be allowed to continue any longer than they have to".

Phase one of HS2 runs from London to the West Midlands, with a spur of the route terminating at Handsacre where it will connect with the existing West Coast Mainline.

It is expected to open between 2029 and 2033, having seen its original opening date of 2026 delayed.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.