HS 2 Information & FAQs



HS2 has cross party support within Parliament and was in January 2012 given the go-ahead by the then Transport Minister. A number of campaigning groups are set to make legal challenges to the scheme and it must pass both a Commons vote and submission of a Hybrid Bill before construction can start.It is therefore not a fait accompli but has a considerable amount of Government backing. The September 2012 changing of the Transport Minister would have given an opportunity to drop the scheme if the Government had chosen to.


is HS2 likely to go ahead?
is my property on the proposed route?
when will construction start?

The details of the published route have been changed a number of times, most recently in January 2012. The safeguarding consultation allows for further detailed changes to take place. Plans of the route are available on the Department for Transport website: 

  • Phase 1 (London to West Midlands): www.dft.gov.uk/publications/hs2-maps-20120110/
  • Phase 2 (West Midlands to Leeds and Manchester): www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-speed-rail-investing-in-britains-future-phase-two-the-route-to-leeds-manchester-and-beyond
If your property is shown to be on or close to the route then you should seek professional advice.  Detailed maps of the Safeguarding Zone are available at http://highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk/consultations/safeguarding-consultation-london-west-midlands/maps-and-plans.

Construction will not start until after the Hybrid Bill has been approved, submission being scheduled for late 2013. Trains are due to commence running on Phase 1 in 2026 with Phase 2 following in 2033. HS2 have yet to publish a construction timetable but those affected should start planning now.

Will my property be eligible for compulsory purchase?

If you have land or property taken by the route, or your residence is made uninhabitable by the railway, then your property may be compulsorily purchased. In this event you will be eligible for compensation to the value of the land and property taken, together with loss of value and disturbance to the remainder of the holding. Such compensation may also be available if your property is within the Safeguarding and Voluntary Purchase Zones.

If your property is outside of these zones, then you may be able to make a claim for loss of value to your property once trains are running.
If your property is outside of these zones and you have an exceptional need to sell prior to other compensation measures becoming available, then you may be eligible for the Exceptional Hardship Scheme and later the Long Term Hardship Scheme. 
The above is based on current compulsorily purchase law and additional provisions currently within the consultation documents so may be subject to change.
How can I claim compensation?

Unless you are eligible for the Exceptional Hardship Scheme, compensation will not be available until the line is safeguarded, probably summer 2013 for Phase 1 and at the end of 2014 for Phase 2. Property owners who will be forced to move due to the blight of the railway or are within the Safeguarding or Voluntary Purchase Zones can make application for property purchase once safeguarding has taken place. Where land is taken but the occupier does not wish to move away, compensation will be payable once Notice of Entry is received, prior to commencement of construction.

Where a property is outside of these zones but there is a loss of value due to the running of the railway, a compensation claim may be made for loss of value to the property a year after trains have commenced running, which according to the current timetable would not make a claim eligible until 2027.
I think I’m eligible for the Exceptional Hardship Scheme what should I do?

Some properties are being accepted into the Exceptional Hardship Scheme but there is a high failure rate. We can advise on submitting applications but it is best that you talk to us before putting your property on the market because we have made successful applications on behalf of clients and understand the principles upon which claims are accepted.  We believe that similar rules will apply to the proposed Long Term Hardship Scheme.

Do they have the right to enter my land?

HS2 have written to me asking for access in order to undertake environmental surveys. Do they have the right to enter my land?

HS2 do not at present have statutory powers of entry and so can only enter private land with the owners agreement. They have published a licence agreement and scale of payments for such entry. You are not bound by these and should seek professional advice before allowing access. Your professional fees for advice on this matter should be paid by HS2.
What can Fisher German do for me?
Fisher German has vast experience of representing land and property owners on similar infrastructure projects, including the West Coast Mainline upgrading, Evergreen 3 (Oxford – Bicester) and road schemes such as the M40 and M6 Toll motorways. We are also advising those potentially affected by the proposed HLOS railway electrification and reopening scheme. 
We provide advice on all aspects of HS2 to a large number of property owners along the proposed route. Our national office network covers the whole of HS2 – five of our offices are within 7 miles of the proposed route and a further three offices are within 20 miles. This enables us to service your requirements wherever you are located.
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