HS2 construction given government go-ahead (UK)
The UK government has given its formal approval for construction work on the HS2 high speed rail project to begin despite lockdown measures. Construction firms involved in phase one of the high-speed rail project will need to follow social distancing rules.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson approved the decision to build the rail link in February after a review into its cost. The government’s official report previously warned that the project could cost more than £100bn and be up to five years behind schedule.
A notice to proceed has been given to four joint ventures, which will start work immediately, according to a statement by the Department for Transport (DfT). Companies with HS2 contracts include Costain, Balfour Beatty and Skanska Construction UK.
Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, said: “The issuing of notice to proceed today ensures that our contractors and their supply chains have the confidence that they can commit to building HS2, generating thousands of skilled jobs across the country as we recover from the pandemic.”
The HS2 will provide a high speed rail between link London and Birmingham by 2028-2031. The second phase will head North from Birmingham to Leeds and North-East Manchester by 2035-2040.
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