HS2 has officially been paused on phase 2a (Crewe to Manchester) and phase 2b (Midlands-Manchester and Leeds),
The reason for the pause is because HS2 are waiting for a the government to publish the ‘Integrated Rail Plan’ which brings in Northern Powerhouse Rail, Midlands Rail and Network Rail.
A new hybrid bill which will be given to parliament in early 2022 or sooner this means new plans to use the West Coast Mainline which would then connect to Scotland are being drawn up
From what we can tell at this time is the government are looking to save money whilst offering a scaled down rail service for the North, more abandoned lines will reopen, some electrification on some lines and upgrades to stations.
We may also see a new line being created to speed things up from Manchester to Leeds however we shall have to wait and see what the governments plans are which we will know more about later this year.
HS2 are going to hold a series of consultations and seminars to keep the public informed of what is to happen, we have been assured the Manchester route is happening despite the pause, it may though look different to the original route plans.
You can view more on the Integrated Rail Plan here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-speed-north-an-integrated-rail-plan-for-the-north-and-midlands-terms-of-reference/terms-of-reference-for-an-integrated-rail-plan-for-the-north-and-midlands