Laura Sharman Dominic Browne 03 September 2019

Council leaders calls for green light on HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail

Council leaders calls for green light on HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail image

Council leaders have joined a new campaign to ensure the Government goes ahead with HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR).

The Connecting Britain campaign - which has been launched today by political and business leaders - warns the North is being held back by a lack of investment into transport infrastructure.

It argues that improving connectivity from the Midlands to the North would support economic growth, improve productivity and boost jobs and skills.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council and campaign partner of Connecting Britain, said: 'A green light on HS2 and NPR in full would be a clear signal from the government that it recognises that historic underinvestment in strategic transport infrastructure outside London is a trend that must be reversed if all communities are to be levelled-up and regions rebalanced.

'We will work with the government and the Oakervee Review into HS2, to demonstrate the strength of the economic case for the full and timely delivery of HS2 fully integrated with NPR and other complementary infrastructure schemes in the North and Midlands.'

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce also warned the scrapping of HS2 or NPR would threaten the economic potential of the North.

Paul Hirst, chair of transport and infrastructure for the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, added: 'The Connecting Britain campaign launching today has been set up to make sure the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands get the connectivity they deserve, creating opportunities for young people to secure the skilled jobs and training our businesses need to thrive.'

However, HS2 will be delayed by several years and is over budget by at least £25bn, transport minister Grant Shapps has confirmed.

Preparatory work has started in London but no actual track has been laid; despite this the cost of the project has risen from £56bn to potentially close to £90bn, and the first phase from London to Birmingham looks set to be open around 2030 rather than the originally planned 2026.

The recently appointed Chairman of HS2 Ltd, Allan Cook, provided a report to the transport secretary on HS2's progress.

Mr Shapps told parliament in a written statement: 'Adjusting by construction cost inflation, the range set out in Allan Cook’s report is equivalent to £81 to £88bn in 2019 prices, against a budget equivalent to £62.4bn.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Service Manager - Children in Care

Pembrokeshire County Council
£46,514 - £48,412
The successful candidate will need to be able to manage a large number of competing and at times conflicting priorities, whilst... Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)
Recuriter: Pembrokeshire County Council

Neighbourhood Services Divisional Manager

Northumberland County Council
£60,253
You will provide professional and technical advice on all Neighbourhood Services functions. As an effective leader you will coordinate and manage... Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Associate Educational Psychologist

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Chief People Officer

Haringey London Borough Council
Up to £115k
It’s a broad and exciting role where you’ll have the chance to tackle complex, wide-scale change. Haringey, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Haringey London Borough Council

Social Work Assistant – Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£22,377 - £23,607 per annum
As a Social Work Assistant you will be involved in contributing to assessments of children and their families, providing support and guidance to... Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue