First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
Nigel Jackson, MPA chariman, says new HS2 uncertainty “beggars belief”
The Mineral Products Association
(MPA) has expressed consternation at the UK government’s decision to review the HS2 high-speed rail megaproject.
MPA CEO Nigel Jackson said: “Our members have invested in detailed planning and improved capacity to supply the tens of millions of tonnes of materials required for this major public infrastructure project. We are most concerned to see yet more delay and uncertainty over HS2. The Government should decide promptly, commit firmly and deliver the project on time.
“From a Government ostensibly committed to being more ‘can do’ and keen to invest in improving Britain’s infrastructure this further delay beggars belief. Now is the time to accelerate investment in infrastructure, not to add to uncertainty.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that a “go or no-go” decision on HS2 would be made by the end of 2019. It will consider whether and how the project to connect London, the Midlands and northern England should proceed.
Designed to carry trains travelling at up to 250mph, millions of pounds have already been spent on HS2. Phase 1 of the development between London and Birmingham is due to open at the end of 2026, with the second phase to Leeds and Manchester scheduled for completion by 2032-33.
The review will be chaired by Douglas Oakervee, a civil engineer and former chair of HS2 Ltd.