1. Video content

    Video caption: HS2 high-speed rail project begins underground tunnel

    At 170m long 'Florence' is the largest ever tunnelling machine to be used on a UK rail project.

  2. Joint venture to build HS2 station announced

    A construction partnership working on HS2's London terminus at Euston has been appointed to build Birmingham’s Curzon Street Station.

    Curzon Street station designs

    The £570m deal will see the Mace and Dragados jointly working on the landmark station which is set to connect Birmingham to both the capital and Manchester in under an hour.

    Video content

    Video caption: Drone footage of Curzon Street railway station

    Work to create a new intercity terminus on Curzon Street is well underway, with archaeologists excavating the historic site.

    The venture will be a "major shot in the arm" for the construction sector and bring in "hundreds" of jobs, the region's mayor Andy Street has said.

  3. Starting HS2 in north 'would have been sensible' - Shapps

    PA Media

    Starting construction of the entire HS2 rail project from north to south would "probably have been sensible", according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

    HS2 train

    Work is already underway on the first phase of the high-speed rail project between London and Birmingham.

    Phase 2a is planned to run from Birmingham to Crewe, and Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester, and from Birmingham to Leeds.

    The Government-commissioned Oakervee Review warned last year that the final bill for HS2 could reach £106 billion at 2019 prices.

    Speaking in the House of Commons, Hilary Benn, Labour MP for Leeds Central, said: "Given that the National Infrastructure Bank is going to be based in Leeds, wouldn't it be highly symbolic to start building phase 2b of the eastern leg of HS2 from Leeds southwards?"

    Mr Shapps replied: "It probably would have been sensible to start the entire project from the north-south in the first place.

    "However, having looked at this in great detail - not least with the Oakervee Review - I also know chopping and changing those plans partway through is the most expensive possible outcome and doesn't work out."

  4. Petition opposing HS2 lorry routes signed by hundreds

    BBC Midlands Today

    More than 2,000 people have signed a petition opposing three planning applications which could see hundreds of lorries driving through a village as part of the HS2 scheme.

    Aerial view of Balsall Common

    Campaigners say the applications ask for up to 800 additional lorry movements daily along roads in Balsall Common, near Solihull.

    They say the journeys could be entirely avoided if HS2 used an alternative route.

    Work is already underway on the first phase of the high-speed rail project between London and Birmingham.

    A HS2 spokesperson says they are building an alternative "haul road" but until it is built they need to use existing roads.

  5. HS2: Protesters set up camp by Wormwood Scrubs

    Protesters camp at Wormwood Scrubs
    Image caption: Anti-HS2 protesters said they would stay "until HS2 gets stopped"

    Environmental campaigners have moved into a site near Wormwood Scrubs in protest over HS2 construction work at part of a nature reserve.

    The company said it had to move a sewer and will reinstate the habitats.

    Environmental protester Bradley said: "I'll stay here until HS2 gets stopped, until the government does something about the climate and ecological emergency we're in."

    A spokesperson for HS2 said it was working with Hammersmith and Fulham Council on a "masterplan that will improve the Scrubs, enhancing the biodiversity" of the area.

    In February anti-HS2 protesters lost a legal bid to remain in a network of tunnels they had dug near London's Euston station.

  6. Budget: £50m for HS2 Interchange car park

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a £50m grant for the HS2 Interchange Station in Solihull as part of the Budget announcement.

    The funding is set to be matched with a £45m contribution from the local area.

    Artist's impression of Birmingham Curzon St HS2 station

    Solihull Council said the original plans to build 7,400 parking spaces would have seen approximately 22 acres of green belt land tarmacked over for surface level parking, but a multi storey will mean less land will be needed.

    "We were never comfortable with the prospect of such a connected location in the borough being simply used for a surface car park," Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Council, said.

    “Constructing a multi-storey car park as opposed to tarmacking swathes of valuable land allows us to maximise the benefits that the HS2 Interchange Station brings directly to Solihull and its residents."