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HS2 route may change amid jobs plan
The Birmingham and Fazeley viaduct, part of the new proposed route for the HS2 high speed rail scheme
The Government could make changes to a section of the HS2 high-speed rail route to allow plans for a 7,000 job-creating scheme to go ahead.
Concerns have been raised that the route of phase two of the £33 billion HS2 line could affect plans for a strategic rail freight interchange depot next to East Midlands Airport near Castle Donington in Derbyshire.
The initial preferred route would have seen the new rail line cross the site of the proposed depot.
But the Government has announced that it has developed a revised option involving extending the proposed HS2 tunnel under the airport to avoid the majority of the depot site.
The depot scheme still needs planning permission but if it gets the go-ahead it has the potential to create 7,000 jobs in the region.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "These changes have the potential to deliver huge economic benefits for the East Midlands on top of the already considerable opportunities HS2 will bring the region.
"They also show that we are both maximising the economic impact of HS2 as well as listening to concerns of those affected by it. We will continue to work with stakeholders, to identify critical issues such as Roxhill (the depot developers) and propose revisions to the scheme where possible."
Lesgislation paving the way for the start of HS2 was announced in the Queen's Speech last week.
Work on phase one, from London to Birmingham, is set to start in 2016/17 with services beginning in 2026.
Phase two, taking the line north in a Y-shape to Manchester via Crewe and to Leeds via Derby and Sheffield is set to be completed around 2032/33.