HS2 to benefit building and construction sector
13 January 2012
Posted by Michelle Devonshire
Building and construction industry leaders have hailed news that a high-speed rail network is to be created in England.
Earlier this week, the government granted approval to the HS2 project, which will see a line created between London and Birmingham. The new route is scheduled to be in operation by 2026.
This should help to ease the pressure on existing rail services between the two cities, such as the West Coast Main Line, and will be followed by further high-speed connections to Leeds and Manchester.
The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) believes this is very good news for the industry, as it will give it the chance to showcase its capabilities both nationally and internationally.
Alasdair Reisner, director of external affairs at the group, commented: "The announcement of the go-ahead for the first phase of HS2 is a phenomenal opportunity, but also an enormous challenge."
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) was equally positive about the government's announcement, as it believes the project will lead to a significant increase in capacity on the rail network in Britain.
Steve Hayter, chairman of the organisation, singled out the coalition's efforts to reduce the impact of the infrastructure upgrades on communities around the country for particular praise.
"Tunnelling on this scale is a proven, effective engineering solution with many advantages," he commented.
"Engineers will now stand ready to do what they do best – overcoming any challenges and ensuring the project succeeds."
Speaking earlier this week, transport secretary Justine Greening said she believes the HS2 project represents an investment for the future, just as the first Victorian railways and motorways proved to be.
She stated that the 26,000 people who are likely to use the high-speed rail network every year should enjoy significantly reduced journey times between London and Birmingham, before adding the infrastructure upgrades should also aid job creation and economic growth.