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HS2 full steam ahead to House of Lords and beyond

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Posted by APM on 31st Mar 2016

Last week the hybrid Bill for Phase One of the HS2 scheme between London and Birmingham last week successfully passed from the House of Commons to the House of Lords, meaning it is a vital step closer to the likelihood of construction beginning in 2017 as planned.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin commented, “Once again Parliament has backed High Speed 2 (HS2) and brought this vital new railway one step closer to reality. British contractors are now bidding to build the line, British apprentices are waiting to work on it and British cities are waiting to benefit from it.”

Another announcement last Thursday highlighted the progress around the design and development of HS2, including the shortlisting of companies bidding to win work on the project. Contracts that are granted will create up to 14,600 jobs and apprenticeships across the UK. The announcements included a shortlist of 9 bidders for between £7.1 and £11.8 billion worth of civil engineering work between London and Crewe, the start of formal tendering for up to £900 million worth of enabling works and the start of the procurement process to grow several million trees to plant alongside the line.

Civil engineering contracts covering the 140 miles from London to Birmingham are expected to be signed in 2017 with the start of work on site one year later.

HS2 Ltd chief executive Simon Kirby said in response,Collaboration will be at the heart of everything we do. Together with our suppliers, we will create these opportunities while continuing to push for the best value and long term efficiency that will be essential to delivering this transformational project on time and on budget.”

In addition to the contract tenders offering skills development and job opportunities, it is anticipated that HS2 will also boost housing and general economic growth, from London to the north.

HS2 is unlocking a massive regeneration project at Old Oak and Park Royal, and promoting local growth in Greater Manchester and Leeds thanks to new government funding. The Chancellor George Osborne has offered a boost for a major London development site at Old Oak and Park Royal, bringing the prospect of up to 25,500 new homes and 65,000 extra jobs in the area closer to reality. Old Oak in west London will host a transport ‘super-hub’, with Crossrail and HS2 combining with the Great Western Main Line to provide fast and frequent access to London and also the west and north of the country.

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said: “HS2 is not just a train line. I have already seen the transformative change that this project is triggering in Old Oak Common, Birmingham and elsewhere even before spades hit the ground next year. That is why we’ve brought forward growth funding for northern locations - so they too can maximise the potential for their own region, thanks to HS2.”

Half the funding will be provided early in the next financial year, with half reserved for after confirmation of the Phase Two route in autumn 2016. The funding can be used to get people, businesses and places ready for HS2, helping to build a long term economic, social and environmental legacy.

In support, Communities Minister Baroness Williams said: “The Northern Powerhouse is about rebalancing the economy and unlocking the potential of the great cities of the north.”

Listen to programme and strategy director for HS2, Alistair Kirk, present on the opportunities HS2 will bring to the UK, as well as the key decisions and management strategy that have been involved, at the APM Conference, 21 April 2016.

Posted in HS2 Construction
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