Axing of phase 2 of HS2 and the effects on local infrastructure

Billions of pounds are set to be redirected from HS2 to Network North. This recent announcement follows the Prime Minister on the 4th of October, announcing that the investment for the northern leg, between the West Midlands and Manchester, of HS2 axed

The spiralling costs of HS2 are now going towards improving local connections and infrastructure. This plan is set to unlock potential and drive growth. With the hope of transforming the transport that people rely on. The desired outcome of this investment is to benefit the services that people rely on, in more places, and quicker.

At the heart of this investment is “Network North”. This will drive better connections across the North and the Midlands, making public transport quicker, more frequent, and increasing capacity. Importantly, making services more reliable, across rail, road and buses.

£36 billion will be invested into various transport projects across the North and Midlands, as well as other regions across the UK. Every region is set to receive the same amount of transport investment or more. Plus, a further £12 billion is to be set aside for faster transport links between Liverpool and Manchester.

How people have viewed the latest announcement

There are two different ways to view the latest announcement regarding the reinvestment of the HS2 budget into local infrastructure in the North and Midlands. Many have seen the redistribution of investment as a disappointing u-turn for what was set to transform the northern links to London. Whereas some have seen this as an opportunity for money to be spent in the North and Midlands, where people use local transport links more frequently.

The affects the rail investment will have on the North

Network North is set to include investment between Stoke and Derby on the A50 and A500. The money is set to improve the issues that many local residents experience during busy periods between the two locations, making the stretch more reliable. There are also improvements planned with the funds to improve rail and bus services in and around the local area. There is also potential for major rail improvement in the area, which could include the re-opening of some rail stations, and improving the frequency and reliability of rail services.

Requirements for the expanding rail industry

The redirection of funding from HS2 to bolster established railway lines means an expansion in the rail industry. Increasing the demand for skilled rail workers. With a growing workforce, the need for Personal Track Safety (PTS) certifications becomes paramount. Acorn Occupational Health can support the rail industry by offering high-quality PTS Medicals. These certifications are mandatory for any railway worker in the UK seeking to work on or near railway tracks. Acorn, as a RISQS-accredited provider, ensures that rail workers meet the criteria. Our comprehensive PTS Medicals, including Fit for Task assessments, and RISQS-accredited Drug & Alcohol testing, we work to insure the safety and well-being of rail workers.

The effect the current daily commute has on your employees

The daily commute to and from work on public transport plays a role in shaping individuals’ overall health and well-being. Long hours spent on buses, trains, or trams can lead to a sedentary lifestyle. The stress of navigating crowded, delayed, or uncomfortable journeys can also take a toll on mental health. Causing increased anxiety and decreased job satisfaction. As we shift our focus towards more accessible and reliable transportation options. It’s not just a matter of convenience; it’s a fundamental step in promoting the health and happiness of the workforce. The reinvestment of HS2 funds into “Network North” could be the significant leap towards improving public transport we have been waiting for. Ultimately benefiting the physical and mental well-being of commuters across the North and Midlands.

How Acorn can support your business

As an Occupational Health business, our priority is to support the maintenance of the health and safety of our client’s employees. We provide an extensive range of Occupational Health services, suitable for every single industry, and businesses of all sizes. Our clients include those that we work with on a weekly basis and those who require our services on more of a project basis.

Want to know more about how we can support your business, please get in touch. Call us on 01260 277797 or email us at


More information on Network North

Network North – GOV.UK

Want to know more about the Occupational Health services we provide at Acorn, and how they could benefit your business and your employees? Please get in touch.