HS2 - which is planned to run through large parts of Derbyshire - could be scrapped

An artist's impression of HS2.
An artist's impression of HS2.

The Government has announced it is launching a review into the high-speed rail network, HS2.

The 'independent and vigorous' review by retired engineer Douglas Oakervee will consider whether the major project should still go ahead - or if changes need to be made to elements of the scheme.

MORE: Police yet to establish identity of man whose body was found at dam

According to the Department for Transport, a final report will be produced in the autumn and this will 'inform the Government's decisions on next steps for the project'.

The Government approved the scheme in 2012 - but last month the project chairman reportedly warned its cost could rise by £30billion and said it cannot be delivered within its £56bn budget.

When asked about the billions already spent on the scheme, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Just because you've spent a lot of money on something does not mean you should plough more and more money into it."

HS2 is designed to link London to the north.

Experts predict the building of the HS2 route will create thousands of local jobs as well as significantly speeding up journey times and freeing up space for passengers wanting to travel on existing rail networks.

However, opponents say the project is too expensive and environmentally damaging.

What HS2 means for Derbyshire

According to Derbyshire County Council, the route through Derbyshire is part of a Y-shaped route known as Phase 2b. The route is split into an eastern and a western leg with the western leg running from Crewe to Manchester and the eastern leg running from Birmingham to Leeds. A section of the Birmingham to Leeds leg of the route runs through Derbyshire.

Construction of the Derbyshire section of the route is currently expected to start in the mid-2020s with the line through the county starting to carry passengers around 2033.

A council spokesperson said: "In principle, we support plans for HS2 because it will help the local economy, bring more jobs to Derbyshire and provide opportunities for local businesses to expand.

"But we are also supporting the interests of local people who could be adversely affected by the rail line.

"We have consistently pressed HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport to minimise the disruption and harmful effects on communities and people’s homes - both during construction and after the line has opened.

"And we'll continue to push for the best possible outcome for Derbyshire residents, businesses and others along the route with any harmful effects reduced, mitigated."

Following public consultation, the Government revised its 'preferred route' to include:

- opportunities for passengers to get on and off high-speed services at Chesterfield station by diverting some trains on to existing lines as they head towards Sheffield;

- a new spur line from Hilcote to Stonebroom near Clay Cross linking to existing track to allow trains designed to run both on high speed and existing lines to travel to Chesterfield. The spur would include a flyover junction with the main route. This will also involve installing overhead power lines on the existing rail line from Clay Cross north;

- an elevated line through Long Eaton;

- a new and longer route to the Staveley Maintenance Depot which will serve the Birmingham to Leeds section bringing up to 800 jobs.

The main track will pass near to, or through:

- Long Eaton

- Sandiacre

- Pinxton

- McArthur Glen East Midlands Designer Outlet

- Hilcote

- Tibshelf

- Hardstoft

- Hardwick Hall

- Stainsby

- Heath

- Doe Lea

- Sutton Scarsdale

- Carr Vale

- New Bolsover

- Shuttlewood

- Barlborough

The new spur line from Hilcote would pass near to or through:

- Blackwell

- Newton

- Stonebroom

Some work will also be needed on the existing track between Stonebroom and Danesmoor.

The proposed spur line to the maintenance depot will pass through or close to Woodthorpe, Poolsbrook and Staveley.

MORE: Latest Chesterfield magistrates' court results