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Kirby: HS2 has made “real progress”

HS2 Ltd says that while many challenges remain, the project is on track to deliver its strategic scope and be constructed to budget.

Chief Executive Simon Kirby said: “The role of the NAO is to challenge projects such as HS2, and through that challenge improve the way they deliver for the taxpayer. This report does this and we accept that challenge. It also, however, recognises the real progress we have made in taking the concept of HS2 and moving it nearer reality.

“As the report says, HS2 remains a highly ambitious project. But as it also demonstrates, there are real and substantial grounds why the public, Government and Parliament should have increased confidence in our ability to deliver the project. Our job is to keep earning that confidence going forward.”

HS2 Ltd says increasing confidence in its ability to deliver has allowed it to invite industry to bid for £11 billion worth of contracts for Phase 1, and that lessons learned on that section of the route are already being applied to Phase 2. It claims the scope for efficiencies here is “even greater” because it is at an earlier design stage.

  • For more on this, read RAIL 804, published on July 6.

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