Government confirmed today (April 15) that work can now start on building Phase 1 of HS2 from London to Birmingham.
Until now, only prepatory work had been carried out. But the Department for Transport has now given approval for HS2 Ltd to issue Notice to Proceed (NtP) to the four main works civils contractors, to commence full detailed design and construction of the railway.
Commenting on the Notice to Proceed, HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Mark Thurston said: “In these difficult times, today’s announcement represents both an immediate boost to the construction industry and the many millions of UK jobs that the industry supports, and an important investment in Britain’s future - levelling up the country, improving our transport network, and changing the way we travel to help bring down carbon emissions and improve air quality for the next generation.”
It’s expected that a partial start of services between Old Oak Common and Birmingham Curzon Street will begin between 2029 and 2033, with full Phase 1 services from Euston forecast to start between 2031 and 2036.
For the FULL story, read RAIL 903, published on April 22, and available digitally from April 18.
Government confirmation came as this issue of RAIL went to press. See RAIL 904 for in-depth reaction and analysis.