Higgins urges fast-tracking HS2 to save costs

Aaron Morby 6 years ago
Share

HS2 chief executive Sir David Higgins has set out plans to fast-track the £43bn high speed railway project to peg costs.

He says there is a compelling case for starting UK’s biggest ever infrastructure project in the south and north as soon as possible, as part of the main thrust of his report into saving Government cash.

Report: vision for HS2

The new HS2 project chief also calls for politicians from all parties to lend their backing to the scheme and speed the passage of the necessary legislation through Parliament.

Sir David sets out plans to accelerate phase two north of Birmingham.

This would take the line 43 miles further north than planned, to a new transport hub at Crewe in Cheshire which could be completed by 2027, six years earlier than planned.

Higgins is also understood to have found £1.5bn savings around London, and recommends scrapping a proposed link between HS2 and the HS1 the Channel Tunnel route priced at up to £500m.

But he will also call for reinstatement of more grandiose plans for a major rebuild of Euston station, paid for through property development around the site.

Sir David, the former London Olympics supremo, will said: “The cost and impact have to be recognised and acknowledged, but so too do the cost and impact of doing nothing.

‘Without HS2, the people of this country will continue to face the failures of our transport system on a daily basis.”

Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said: “This report will help build confidence in the budget, delivery and benefits of HS2.

“The best way to keep a lid on costs is to move to the construction stage quickly and we would urge politicians on all sides of the House to get behind this important project.

Hall added: “HS2 will connect eight of our 10 largest cities and boost local economies along the route, and the proposed interchange at Crewe is particularly good news for the north.

“The North London line is a busy commuter route and it therefore makes sense to reconsider how we link to HS1.

“We would urge HS2 and the Department for Transport to come up with a workable alternative swiftly.”

Campaigners spearheading the case for a direct HS2 link to Liverpool have seized on the report’s findings.

Now they are calling on HS2  to recycle identified cost savings from London into improved connections for Liverpool and the North.

Andrew Morris, Chair of 20 Miles More said: “We welcome proposals to reduce the overall cost of HS2, but it presents a massive opportunity to recycle a part of the savings to achieve very significant economic rebalancing.

‘The £1.5bn that has been saved on costs around London is the amount needed to deliver the 20 miles that would link the Liverpool City Region to HS2.”

 

Latest news

Wates resumes full pay for all staff not on furlough

Chief praises staff for great professionalism in the most challenging of condition
1 day ago

Canary Wharf Contractors could cut 100 jobs

Another round of redundancies as projects come to an end with no replacements in pipeline
1 day ago

Tower crane lifts end long climb to work for operators

Laing O'Rourke trials mast climbing lifts for tower crane operators at London site
1 day ago

Government agrees £30m bailout for rebar giant

Emergency loan to Celsa secures rebar supplies to construction
1 day ago

Plans go in for 2,200-home Oxfordshire garden village

Sustainable scheme will also include new schools and manufacturing space
2 days ago

Winvic raids Graham Construction for civils boss

Rob Cook joins as civils and infrastructure director at Winvic
2 days ago

HS2 rebids £300m overhead power system

Bidding starts for first overhead lines powering trains to operate at 360km/h
2 days ago

Work with the Enquirer to help your post Covid recovery

Promote your business now to grab a bigger market share as construction bounces back
2 weeks ago

Sisk seals £150m Santander campus in Milton Keynes

Biggest building contract signed off during restricted covid working
2 days ago

Keep the industry updated by joining the Enquirer Directory

Membership lets construction know you are open for business now or in the future
2 years ago

Builder wanted for £35m Forth Bridge tourist attraction

Contract to build bridge walkways and viewing platforms to be awarded before the end of 2020
2 days ago

JCB powers up first hydrogen fuelled digger

JCB in race to lead the world on hydrogen-powered plant
3 days ago

Construction site death rates on the rise

Latest HSE figures show 40 construction fatalities last year
3 days ago

Construction firms urged to claim millions in tax rebates

Research and development tax credits available - find out if you can claim
2 days ago

Plans in for £150m South Kensington Tube station scheme

Native Land and TfL advance scheme to revamp west London Underground station site
2 days ago

Hotel plan for Lincoln department store aproved

Town centre House of Fraser will be demolished for a 150-room hotel
1 day ago

Site canteens to re-open under latest guidelines

Latest Site Operating Procedures guidance allows limited 1m-plus distancing with risk reduction measures
3 days ago

Kier eyes rights issue as debt rises to £440m

Debt rises again as Kier feels impact of Covid-19
3 days ago

Willmott Dixon unveils plan for 5% staff cut

Private builder seeks voluntary redundancies as revenue set to drop 20%
3 days ago

HS2 contest for £500m tunnel and lineside M&E works

Major contract for phase one and 2a will be let as a target cost contract
4 days ago

Boris clears planning red tape on change of use to housing

Town centre buildings to be converted without planning to save the high street
4 days ago

Morgan Sindall to start £65m Salford Uni project

Work to start within weeks on Science, Engineering and Environmental Building
3 days ago

Cundall latest consultant to cut jobs

Redundancy consultation starts with 6% of staff at risk
3 days ago

Eight major contractors rally to tackle climate change

BAM, CWC, Morgan Sindall, Multiplex, SRM, Skanska and Willmott Dixon declare net zero carbon pledge
4 days ago

Road worker hit by flying metal from HGV

Construction materials most frequently dropped on motorways
4 days ago

Redrow to scale back London construction work

Focus shifts to regions as buyers want more space after pandemic
4 days ago

Scottish contractor Robertson plans redundancies

Annual pay increases deferred for a year as job cuts loom
4 days ago

Modular specialist ilke Homes to cut staff numbers

Business was handed a £30m loan by Homes England last November
5 days ago

Boris ‘new deal’ injects £5bn to speed-up infrastructure

Prime Minister promises to build, build, build with national renewal plan
4 days ago

Start date for £19m Nottinghamshire blue light HQ

Henry Brothers to start work next month after signing a deal yesterday
4 days ago

Contractor services