Following the announcement of the award of £6.6bn of civil engineering contracts to build the first phase of HS2 from London to Birmingham, Jim Steer, Director of High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL) commented:

“The award of these contracts is a huge step forward for HS2 and represents a £6.6bn Government investment in British industry. Last year, HSRIL published a report showing that the HS2 project would create 27,000 jobs by 2020; and these contract awards alone represent 16,000 jobs towards this total. By the end of the decade, HS2 will employ more people than any other infrastructure project in the UK.

 “But this is just the start of how high speed rail can change Britain for the better. The connectivity of HS2 will transform regional economies, especially in the midlands and north where the biggest benefits of HS2 will arise.

 “With the award of these contracts, the project can now kick-off in earnest. The industry is ready and able to deliver, and HS2 is on track.”