The RIA comment on Government uncertainty around HS2 Phase 2

Posted: 3 October 2023 | | No comments yet

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the voice of the UK rail supply community, has voiced its concern over the growing confusions surrounding the Government’s plans for Phase 2 of HS2. The Birmingham to Manchester leg of HS2 has been under threat for the past couple of months, though PM Rishi Sunak is now saying he won’t be rushed into a decision at this time.


Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association commented,  “The Railway Industry Association and our rail business members are getting increasingly concerned about reports that HS2 between Birmingham and Manchester will be scrapped.

“These companies already have around 30,000 people working on the scheme with a huge amount of construction ongoing and are set to employ even more – together with billions of pounds of investment – on HS2 Phase 2. The uncertainty around all this is potentially devastating to their plans, all of which were developed in good faith, that to get the full benefits the full scheme between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds would be built. 

“This constant salami-slicing of the scheme betrays HS2’s original purpose to improve the UK’s connectivity and economy, whilst enabling added capacity to the classic network and helping the Government deliver on its Net Zero targets.

“A decision to cancel would also send a terrible message about the UK’s ability to deliver major infrastructure projects to international investors. We understand there are cost concerns but this should be a reason to engage with the industry to find a solution not a reason to cancel a project which will be delivering benefits for generations to come. 

“We still hope the full HS2 scheme goes ahead, and urge the Government to press on with legislation taking HS2 to Manchester in the King’s Speech next month. We also ask that all the political parties commit to delivering it in the months ahead and also beyond the next General Election.”

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