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Committee publishes First Special Report

19 July 2023

The Select Committee on the High Speed Rail (Crewe - Manchester) Bill has today published its First Special Report to the House.

The report gives the Committee’s views on and responses to the issues raised by petitioners who have appeared before the Committee so far. In addition to responding to specific points pertaining to individual petitioners, the Committee’s report reflects on the challenges presented to the Bill scheme by ground conditions in Cheshire, outlines the Committee’s approach to traffic and design issues, and provides advice to future petitioners on how best to prepare for their hearings.

On the ground conditions issue, the Committee’s report acknowledges both the concerns felt by petitioners about the new train line crossing areas of land which are subject to or at risk of ground movement, and the measures proposed by the promoter to mitigate and overcome these challenges. The Committee welcomes the promoter’s suggestion of an improved engagement strategy to address the concerns of local residents, but says that the Government and HS2 Ltd need to do more to reassure local residents concerned by the building of HS2 across this part of Cheshire. It recommends that HS2 Ltd publishes reports on the ground investigations being undertaken, and asks for responses to specific questions raised by petitioners.

Chair's comments

The Chair of the Committee, Andrew Percy MP, said:

We would like to thank all the petitioners who have appeared before us so far, and welcome the work that has been done by the promoter to, where possible, address and resolve the issues raised by petitioners. We, as a Committee, take our responsibilities in this process seriously, as it is important that people affected by major schemes such as HS2 are able to have their voices and concerns heard. We hope that our report goes some way towards mitigating the adverse impacts of the scheme on petitioners, and we look forward to receiving a response from the Government in due course.

The report published by the Committee today does not give the Committee’s view on the new high-speed station proposed at Manchester Piccadilly. The Committee held a series of hearings on this issue in June, where it heard the promoter’s case for the surface turnback station envisaged by the Bill and arguments for an alternative underground through station proposed by Manchester City Council, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and Transport for Greater Manchester. However, the Committee has not yet concluded its consideration of this matter and will instead report on this issue later in the year.

Transcripts of hearings before the Committee, copies of evidence received, and details of the Committee’s forward programme of hearings can be found on the Committee’s website:

Further information

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