Around 13,000 people are currently engaged directly on phase 1 of the project across approximately 240 work sites. Add in many thousands more employed in the supply chain and it’s clear to see the importance of the project to a post-pandemic Britain.
Phase 2a gained Royal Assent on 11 February, and this will see the route extended from the West Midlands to Crewe, and open up direct services to Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, and Glasgow, on existing metals.
Plans for the western leg of phase 2b were updated in October and these outline the work required to upgrade the existing network serving the North West for HS2 services. The legislative process to approve this should start in 2022.
The Eastern leg of phase 2b connects the West Midlands with Yorkshire and the North East. The legislative procedure to approve this is scheduled to start in 2022 also.
A major step forward is that contracts with a combined value of £12bn have now been issued for tender. The opportunities for business cover railway systems, rolling stock, construction, and a wide range of other services.
More details and the facility to register for tender opportunities can be found at www.hs2.org.uk/building-hs2/supply-chain/
Paul Wormald, Transport and Logistics Partner commented: ‘it is encouraging to see phase 1 of HS2 underway, and also encouraging to see those running the project committing to putting SMEs at the heart of their procurement process. Hopefully, this will help the UK economy rebuild post-pandemic.
Whilst those of us who live and work around the Eastern leg of phase 2b are hopeful that this will ultimately come to fruition, it would be good to see this committed to legislation as soon as possible.
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