The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed the HS2 go ahead on February 11, during its statement in the Parliament on the future of the country’s transport infrastructure.
The construction of the 338-km Phase 1 route between London and Birmingham set to begin in April. The latest estimates show that the first stage would be completed between 2028 and 2031
According to the latest estimates, the first stage would be completed between 2028 and 2031, although this stage was originally planned to be opened in 2026.
“HS2 will shift this country’s centre of gravity away from the capital and transform connectivity between our towns and cities. I am drawing a clear line under the mismanagement of the past – HS2 must be delivered more efficiently and cost-effectively so that communities feel its benefits more quickly, particularly those in the North,” Boris Johnson said.
The Prime Minister highlighted some measures which include the appointment of a dedicated minister with specific oversight and accountability for HS2, the redefining HS2 Ltd’s role under a reform, which will improve the governance at HS2 Ltd to ensure project is delivered better and more efficiently.
Also, on February 11, the Douglas Oakervee’s independent review into HS2 has been published.
The Government will revive the legislation to deliver Phase 2a, connecting Birmingham to Crewe, as soon as possible so that preparation works can move forward. During his speech, Johnson committed to the Phase 2b of the project, extending high-speed rail from the West Midlands to the North. In order to work out how best to deliver Northern Powerhouse Rail and Phase 2b more effectively, the government will draw up an integrated plan for rail in the North, informed by an assessment from the National Infrastructure Commission. The plans will identify all relevant investments in the north and look at how the two schemes can work together alongside wider investment in transport for the North and Midlands. It will also have a focus on ensuring that lessons are learned from Phase 1 of HS2 to drive down costs.
HS2 project will deliver essential North-South connectivity, greater capacity and shorter journey times.