‘Truly ambitious’ HS2 project already supports 6000 jobs
HS2 is already supporting thousands of jobs, according to new data.
HS2: Realising the potential, a report produced by outgoing HS2 Ltd chairman Sir David Higgins, found that the rail project has so far helped to maintain around 6,000 positions.
The jobs are across the 2,000 businesses that have worked on or in relation to the project, with work ranging from conducting the biggest ground investigation programme in British history to the planting of more than seven million trees and shrubs.
Sir David said: “Britain invented the modern railway and it is right that, because of HS2, we have the opportunity once again to lead the world in this important sector.
“As we move towards construction, we are already seeing thousands of people around the country working to bring Britain’s new railway to reality.”
He continued: “We’re in the middle of the largest programme of early works that the UK has ever seen, leading to major construction next year; supporting jobs and businesses around the UK and building the skills base we need to export around the world.
“On top of this, people only need to look to Birmingham and its booming economy to see the benefits that HS2 will bring right around the country happening already in the Midlands. Further proof that HS2 is more than just a railway.”
Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, said the “truly ambitious” HS2 project will be “the backbone of [Britain’s] national network” and “drive huge economic growth right across the country”.
He commented: “[HS2] will create significant benefits for all, delivering improved connections between our major cities, introducing more seats and services for passengers, and creating thousands of new jobs and opportunities for people and businesses across the UK.”
The HS2 programme will span over 15 years. Once up and running, it is forecast to continue providing direct economic benefits through operation and maintenance contracts.
Sir David Higgins’ report launched to an audience of over 100 business and civic leaders at an event in Leeds.
It outlined the transformative effect the new high speed trains are expected to have on UK rail travel. HS2 trains will stop at more than 25 stations between London and Scotland, serving around 30 million people.
Newcastle City Council Leader Cllr Nick Forbes said: “Passengers on the new high speed network will experience fast, reliable services, rivalling those of other high speed networks across the globe.
“Trains, stations and ticketing are being designed to revolutionise the user experience, ensuring that future generations of travellers will be catered for on HS2, with any delays to service on high speed lines no longer than an average of 30 seconds.”
The report follows calls earlier this week, from Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, for the Government to award a £2.8bn HS2 train-building contract to North East firm Hitachi Rail Europe.