Government unveils HS2 phase two details

The government unveiled the second phase of the £33bn High Speed Two (HS2) railway this morning, with five new stations announced on the northern extension.

The preferred route for the line north of Birmingham will have five stops at Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport, Toton in the East Midlands, Meadowhall in Sheffield and Leeds.

However, the proposed spur to Heathrow Airport has been postponed until 2015 while the government decides on the future of airport expansion.

According to the Department for Transport, HS2 will cut journey times from London to Manchester to 68 minutes, and from London to Leeds to 82 minutes.

Phase one, which runs from London to Birmingham, has faced opposition from communities and businesses along the line. Phase one is timetabled to open in 2026, with the second stage following in 2032.