Posted 16th March 2016 | 4 Comments
“We are laying the track” – Chancellor confirms HS3
THE Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed funding to prepare for HS3 across the north and Crossrail 2 in London during his budget speech.
He told the House of Commons: "I said we would build the Northern Powerhouse. We’ve put in place the mayors.
"We’re building the roads. We’re laying the track. We’re making the Northern Powerhouse a reality and rebalancing our country.
"I am also accepting the Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations on energy and on London transport. The Government that is delivering Crossrail 1 will now commission Crossrail 2."
Early industry reaction included Alan Ryder, chief executive of RSK Group. He said: "This budget marks a welcome step towards improving Britain's transport infrastructure.
"RSK Group, as a company involved in everything from planning, environmental impact studies and driver training for the rail industry, are delighted that Crossrail 2 has been given the go ahead. The economic benefits of the scheme won't be confined to the capital. It will provide jobs for scores of companies throughout the country – particularly in the North West, where RSK are headquartered. Today's announcement will help retain Britain's first class skills base in railway infrastructure for another generation."
"The HS3 rail link between Manchester and Leeds will cut journey times for staff travelling between our operations east and west of the Pennines, and provide a long overdue economic boost for the region. For employers like us, it will turn the 'northern powerhouse' from rhetoric into reality."
Patricia Moore, who is UK head of infrastructure for contruction company Turner & Townsend, commented: “The austerity cuts will surprise very few but with current record low interest rates meaning cheap borrowing for government, investing in major rail and road is the counterbalance.
“Future spending on transport projects such as HS3, a new tunnel between Manchester and Sheffield, and upgrades to the M62 and main A66 and A69 roads, will all help stimulate and reinvigorate the economy in the North providing a much-needed boost to jobs and trade.
“This budget is a clear sign that George Osborne means business for the Northern Powerhouse. For far too long, people living and working in the North have played second fiddle to the South, suffering from unacceptable travel delays particularly on the M62, which costs time and money. This long-term investment in vital infrastructure is clear recognition that we need to catch up with continental Europe and be globally competitive.
“But like any major spend on infrastructure, you need effective cost control mechanisms set up or you’ll burn through money. Major programmes need the skills, capacity and resources in place to deliver efficiently and each of these new transport programmes must guarantee the best value for money for taxpayer and client.”
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