The Department for Transport has revealed the winners of £6.6bn worth of contracts to build the first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling announced the decision to award contracts today, which the DFT said would mean the new high-speed link reaching Birmingham by 2026.
Carillion, Costain and Balfour Beatty are among the consortia that will build tunnels, bridges and embankments on the first stretch of the new high-speed rail line.
“This is a hugely important step in the construction of Britain’s new railway and underlines this government’s determination to deliver an economy that works for all,” said Grayling. “HS2 will deliver vital links between some of our country’s biggest cities, helping to drive economic growth and productivity in the north and midlands/ As well as providing desperately needed new seats and better connecting our major cities, HS2 will help rebalance our economy.
“We will now get on with building the railway, while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect.
The final routes of the Manchester and Leeds branches of HS2 are due to be announced later today.
The winning bidders to build the first phase of the route are:
Design work is already underway on HS2 stations at Euston, Old Oak Common and in Birmingham. Both the invitations to tender (ITTs) for the station design services contracts for all 4 Phase One stations and the invitation to participate in dialogue (ITPD) for the Euston Master Development Partner have been released to shortlisted bidders.
In February, Parliament granted powers to construct the Phase One route from London Euston to Birmingham, with the route opening in 2026.
Today will see the transport secretary will publish a bill to deliver the next phase of HS2, from the West Midlands to the West Coast Main Line south of Crewe. The DfT said that this means - subject to Parliamentary approval - this part of the route can open in 2027, six years earlier than planned.
Graylingw will also confirm the final Phase 2b route, from Crewe to Manchester and Birmingham to the East Midlands and Leeds. “This phase will complete HS2 and unlock the transformative project’s full benefits for the country,” DfT said.
David Higgins, chairman of HS2 Ltd, stressed the wider economic benefits that the high speed rail is expected to deliver. “These contracts will support 16,000 jobs here in Britain and will create opportunities for thousands of SMEs,” he said. “HS2 was always designed to be much more than just a high speed railway and today we can see the opportunities it brings right around the country - spreading prosperity, acting as a catalyst for investment and rebalancing our economy 10 years before the railway even opens. Business now has the surety to invest with confidence to build a legacy for Britain.
In total, construction of the full HS2 route to the North West and Yorkshire will create up to 25,000 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships, predicts the DfT. Another 3,000 people will operate HS2 and it is estimated that growth around new HS2 stations will create another 100,000 jobs.
The DfT predicts that HS2 could carry more than 300,000 people a day and by providing dedicated space for fast rail services will create extra space for more trains on the existing rail network. “Benefits will be felt across the network with trains running as far as Scotland and the number of seats available out of Euston in peak hours more than doubled,” said the department.
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