High Speed Rail 2 (HS2)

Various UK

High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) is 345 miles of planned new high-speed track that will connect the city centres of London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds. In addition to providing faster journey times, the new rail infrastructure will unlock constrained network capacity, making it the UK’s largest planned infrastructure project.

View Project Details

As part of the Arup + team, Gillespies is providing essential landscape design and assessment services for the HS2 Phase 2 Parliamentary Hybrid Bill.

HS2 is planned to be delivered in two phases, with Phase One linking London to the West Midlands in 2026, and Phase Two connecting the West Midlands to Manchester, Leeds and York. The second phase has been split into two sub-phases - Phase 2a and Phase 2b. Scheduled for completion in 2027, Phase 2a will establish a route through Birmingham to Crewe, and Phase 2b will link Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to Leeds, with the opening scheduled for 2033.

Gillespies’ input for Phase 2a was to support Arup’s engineering and landscape team in the design and assessment of a c.20km section of new rail line. This role included producing landscape mitigation plans and landscape and visual assessments, liaising with HS2 representatives and supporting the public consultation process. Our outputs on this challenging and complex project were successfully delivered within an extremely constrained timeframe.

Since the submission of the Bill to Parliament in summer 2017, Gillespies is undertaking the landscape and visual assessment of scheme modifications as it progresses to Select Committee reviews and subsequent readings in Parliament.

In support of Phase 2b, we are preparing landscape design proposals and assessing the landscape and visual impacts of c. 20km of new, high-speed rail line that includes major infrastructure elements such as viaducts, tunnels, embankments, cuttings and re-routed transportation corridors, public rights of way and watercourses. The design and assessment undertaken by Gillespies will include the assessment of scheme alternatives, project modifications and the refinement of the final design, following extensive consultations with stakeholders and the public prior to submission of the Parliamentary Bill in 2020.