It’s official – “rest of HS2” is cancelled

Aaron Morby 8 months ago
Share

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed the rest of the HS2 high-speed rail line outside of the London to Birmingham route already under construction is being cancelled.

The industry has been braced for bad news on the UK’s biggest infrastructure project following months of speculation over cost increases.

Sunak attempted to soften the blow to contractors by vowing to spend “every single penny” of the anticipated £36bn saved canning HS2 on smaller transport improvements across the country focused on the north and midlands.

He said: “The right thing to do when the facts change is to have the courage to change direction.

“I am ending this long running saga and cancelling the rest of the HS2 project

“What we really need is better transport connections in the north. This will be our priority.”

The Birmingham to London leg will run all the way into London at Euston as planned rather than stop at Old Oak Common.

But the current HS2 management team will no longer run the Euston site.

Sunak said: “There must be some accountability for the mistakes made, for the mismanagement of this project.

“We will instead create a new Euston development zone.”

Ditching the northern phase could save up to £36bn from a total budget that has ballooned to around £100bn.

But the knock-on effects will be massive impacting commercial development around HS2’s planned Manchester Piccadilly and Crewe stations.

The government has already spent £2.3bn buying up land and property on stage two of the railway from Birmingham to Manchester.

It is still unclear what level of compensation Balfour Beatty and Kier will receive for the termination of early enabling works contracts on the Birmingham to Crewe phase 2a stretch.

 

HS2 route map before decision to axe Manchester leg


Director of operations for the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Marie-Claude Hemming said: “This is a dark day for the UK economy, and for everyone who has placed trust in successive UK governments to level up the country and close the north-south divide.

“While the Prime Minister has promised to reinvest HS2 money in alternative schemes, we as an industry know how unlikely this will be to materialise and impact communities in anything like the game-changing way that high speed rail would have delivered.

“Britain now lags far behind our competitors and will remain so due to this short-sighted decision.

“That the UK Government can make such a decision without a democratic mandate – after the scheme has been supported by all parties throughout successive General Elections – frankly beggars belief.”

Latest news

Plan in for £3bn Lincolnshire mega data centre

3.3m sq ft Humber Tech Park will be one of Europe's largest data centres
1 day ago

Green light for Digbeth 1,300 homes scheme

Warner’s Fields scheme to start with excavation and landscaping of the River Rea
1 day ago

Flagship biodiversity net gain scheme flawed

NAO warns Government's flagship green development scheme at risk of failure
1 day ago

£210m M3 Junction 9 upgrade gains consent

VolkerFitzpatrick to start work in early 2025 on Winnall roundabout, near Winchester
1 day ago

United Living wins 14-year L&Q homes repairs deal

Trafford housing upkeep deal worth £205m
1 day ago

£400m Lewisham resi-led scheme advances

Land deal paves way for Amro Partners' 1,000-home London scheme
1 day ago

McLaren gets go-ahead for Grade II listed Leeds student scheme

Springfield House to be revamped and two new wings added
1 day ago

Piling giant to fit people alarms on all rigs

Cementation Skanska upgrades site safety systems
1 day ago

Vistry to make £800m profit after subcontractor cost cuts

House builder bullish about shareholder returns after asking suppliers for discounts
2 days ago

Shareholders approve £2.5bn Barratt and Redrow merger

Final hurdle is for the competition regulator to approve the deal.
2 days ago

Green light for £80m Leith waterfront revamp

Build-to-rent homes and student accommodation scheme to be built
2 days ago

Tilbury Douglas clears Interserve legacy jobs to return to profit

Revenue tops £500m in first year as standalone contractor
3 days ago

Land deal paves way for Manchester civil service office hub

Government buys five acres at former Central Retail Park
2 days ago

Speller Metcalfe wins Wolverhampton library upgrade

Full works are due to start in the autumn
2 days ago

Skills shortage puts big infrastructure projects at risk

Government failing as an intelligent client and now over-reliant on consultancies
3 days ago

Contractors face further insulation board price hikes

Cost of PIR insulation boards set to rise another 10%
3 days ago

Henry Boot wins £36m Rotherham Markets job

Project involves upgrading existing market and building a new library
3 days ago

Keltbray hires new head of infrastructure procurement

Lukasz Olszewski will oversee rail, energy and highways business units
3 days ago

Tunnel fit out robot to revolutionise civils work

Costain and VVB Engineering part of innovative consortium
3 days ago

Funding deal for £86m wind turbine test centre

Latest investment at National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth
4 days ago

Plan in for Manchester ‘upside-down’ 18-storey tower

Landmark cantilevered NXQ building plan for city Northern Quarter
4 days ago

London 25km Super Sewer hooked up for commissioning

Tideway completes connection to existing Lee Tunnel sewer system
4 days ago

£200m Lincoln ring-road approved

North Hykeham Relief Road granted planning permission
4 days ago

£1bn Manchester Airport City plan rebooted as new sci-tech hub

Plan pivots from offices to science and manufacturing campus, called MIX Manchester
5 days ago

Record results at maintenance specialist Renew

Infrastructure maintenance work continues to pay off for contractor
4 days ago

Barhale lands £21m shaft scheme for Thames Water

Civils specialist bags latest upgrade deal on Thames Water Ring Main
4 days ago

Caddick names new north east director

Former Laing O'Rourke project lead joins Yorkshire contractor
4 days ago

Mount Anvil wins London Camden estate rebuild

Deverloper wins £133m Bacton Phase 2 development in Gospel Oak
5 days ago

London Met Uni seeks firm for £280m estate upgrade

A single partner contractor will deliver 10-year building upgrade plan
5 days ago

Top 30 M&E contractors set for growth – ranking

Growth in data centres and commercial refits creates optimism for year ahead
5 days ago

Contractor services