Construction sector hails HS2 announcement
Thu 12 Jan 2012
Construction industry bodies have welcomed the government's announcement that the HS2 project is to go ahead.
The coalition this week confirmed that a high-speed rail connection will link London and Birmingham by 2026, while further connections to Leeds and Manchester should be in place by 2033.
According to the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the news opens up a "phenomenal opportunity" for the sector to demonstrate its strengths both in the UK and overseas.
However, Alasdair Reisner, director of external affairs at the group, stated that contractors who will be involved in delivering HS2 need to be involved from an early stage.
This, he stated, would enable the sector to "provide the benefit of its experience" when creating "one of the UK's most significant infrastructure projects".
The Institution of Civil Engineers added that HS2 will enable Britain to get a rail network that is "fit for the 21st century", as it will boost connectivity between different regions, stimulate economic growth and increase capacity on the UK's trains.
Colin Hall, a partner at Winckworth Sherwood, commented: "Another high profile project, HS2 has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Terminal 5 and the Olympics, which have both shown what can be achieved when the early planning, the commercial arrangements and the contracts are right.
"HS2's 'site' will of course be physically very different from either of the other two; and the engineering element might be a larger proportion of the whole too. But a robust set of contracting arrangements are within our grasp."
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