Transport Secretary Chris Grayling says the HS2 route from Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds in a major boost for the UK’s future economic prosperity….reports Asian Lite News
“This is a clear signal the country is open for business,” said Mr Grayling. “This is a major step towards significantly increasing capacity on our congested railways for both passengers and freight; improving connections between the biggest cities and regions; generating jobs, skills and economic growth and helping build an economy that works for all.
The new HS2 trains will carry over 300,000 people a day and will triple seats available out of Euston at peak hours, freeing up space on the existing network for additional commuter and freight services.
HS2 will create around 25,000 jobs during construction as well as 2,000 apprenticeships. It will also support growth in the wider economy, worth an additional 100,000 jobs.
The direct benefits of HS2 will reach far beyond the towns and regions directly served by the newly built railway lines. As the full network is completed, new HS2 trains will continue up the East and West Coast Main Lines, serving areas including Stafford, Liverpool, Preston, Warrington, Wigan, Carlisle, Glasgow, York, Darlington, Durham, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
“Our railways owe much to the Victorian engineers who pioneered them, but we cannot rest on their legacy when we face overcrowding and capacity problems,” Mr Grayling added. “HS2 is an ambitious and exciting project and the Government is seizing the opportunity it offers to build a transport network fit for the 21st century; one that works for all and makes clear to the world that Britain remains open for business.
“The full HS2 route will be a game-changer for the country that will slash journey times and perhaps most importantly give rail passengers on the existing network thousands of extra seats every day. They represent the greatest upgrade to our railway in living memory.
“But while it will bring significant benefits, I recognise the difficulties faced by communities along the route. They will be treated with fairness, compassion and respect and, as with Phase One, we intend to introduce further compensation which goes over and above what is required by law.”
The Transport Secretary also announced that HS2 Ltd has awarded a £900m contract to Area South – CS JV (Costain Group Plc, Skanska Construction UK Limited), Area Central – Fusion JV (Morgan Sindall plc, BAM Nuttall Limited, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Limited) and Area North – LM JV (Laing O’Rourke Construction Limited, J. Murphy & Sons Limited) so that construction on the first phase of HS2 between the West Midlands and London can get underway next year as planned.
“The new HS2 routes laid out today will make sure our plans to create an economy that works for everyone remain right on track,” said Communities Secretary Sajid Javid. “We are determined to get both the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse firing on all cylinders and HS2 will help create new growth, jobs and homes right across the line.”