On 11 February 2020, the government announced plans to proceed with High Speed 2 (HS2), with construction of Phase 1 from London to the West Midlands set to begin in April.

At the same time, it announced its intention to draw up an integrated rail plan for the north and Midlands, the terms of reference for which were published on 21 February. This plan will be informed by an assessment of the rail needs of the Midlands and the north to be undertaken by the Commission.

This call for evidence is a first step to building an evidence base for this work and will be supported by broader analysis and stakeholder engagement over the course of the assessment.

The call for evidence closed on 29 May 2020.