Plans for phase 2a of HS2 have officially been granted Royal Assent by MPs.
Costing £4.5billion, the phase 2a section of the line, which will run for 36 miles from Birmingham to Crewe, will now be built earlier than originally planned. It will be the first new intercity railway to be built in the north of England in over 100 years.
The stretch of line will create 5,000 jobs in construction and dozens more across the supply chain. In addition, the railway will support 140 permanent jobs at its maintenance base near Stone in Staffordshire. HS2 intended to split the section into two major civil contracts worth around £1.6 billion each but revised thinking indicates that this will now be seven civil packages. This includes the delivery of two tunnels, 26 cuttings, 17 viaducts and 65 bridges.
The ‘Early Civils Work – Package 2’, will be worth £50m and will be awarded through the government’s existing Construction Works and Associated Services framework. HS2 said this would streamline the procurement process allowing a contract to be awarded shortly.
Hundreds of new HS2 jobs in Birmingham were announced in 2020, following the official announcement at the start of the year that the project was to be given the green light.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:
“Today is a landmark moment in our infrastructure revolution. HS2 is the most significant expansion to our national railways in a generation – transforming connectivity between our towns and cities and vastly increasing the capacity of our rail network. By proceeding full steam ahead, we are delivering on our commitment to unite and level up the country. The construction of Phase 2a will support thousands of jobs and create opportunities for local businesses as we build back better.”
HS2 CEO, Mark Thurston said:
“Parliament’s approval for extending HS2 beyond the West Midlands to the North is a clear sign that MPs recognise the enormous potential of this scheme and continue to give their strong support. As the first major railway built in the North for over 100 years, HS2 will spur massive economic growth for our towns and cities, help to level up the country, and provide cleaner, greener public transport for millions.”