Northern route of HS2 to be revealed

Claudine Rigal
Juillet 17, 2017

It will include a decision over its path through Sheffield.

Mr Grayling defended the cost of the project, insisting that "we are spending what it will take to deliver the best infrastructure in a way that is as sensitive as possible to the environment it's going through". The overall budget was revised up to £55.7bn, but estimates drawn up earlier this year on behalf of Lord Berkeley, chairman of the Rail Freight Group, who had argued at select committees for alternative routes for HS2 out of London, suggested it could be as high as £111bn.

The HS2 contracts provide some badly-needed good news for Carillion which saw its share price almost halve last week after being rocked by a full year revenues warning, dividend suspension and the immediate departure of its chief executive, Richard Howson.

But the contract award comes as an independent expert calculated that the initial section will cost nearly £48bn, making it the most expensive railway in the world and 15 times the cost per mile of the latest TGV line in France.

"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", said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in the release Monday.

Mr Grayling said: "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".

Lot C2 - covering the North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley - is worth GBP724.0 million, and Lot C3 - covering Brackley to Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel South Portal - is worth GBP616.0 million.

The latest announcements come after business leaders met in Leeds last week and were told Yorkshire must make its voice heard, in order to guarantee the planned high-speed rail line is built in the region.

In documents first obtained by the Sunday Times at the weekend, Michael Byng, who worked alongside Network Rail to devise its method for costing projects, estimated costs for the first stage of HS2 which, if extrapolated, would result in a £104bn price tag for the full project. This will mean the demolition of a new housing estate in Mexborough, leading to outrage from residents that had moved in just months before.

I remember flying a drone over a farm in Cheshire four years ago, filming the proposed route at the time. "We have got to keep fighting for it and we can't rest on our laurels".

Anyone affected by the line now gets a year or two to put their case together and present it to a special committee of MPs who'll go through thousands of fears and objections before recommending any changes to the final route or the way it's designed.

Major contracts to build the first phase of the railway will be announced today.

Preparatory work has begun and major construction work is due to start in 2018-19. It is due to open in December 2026.

The route of the Manchester and Leeds section of HS2 will also be announced this morning.

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