Opinion Former Article

IET on Queen's Speech: Commitment needed for entire HS2 route

A lack of commitment from the Government for the entire route of the HS2 line means that this vital infrastructure project risks being developed in isolation, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has warned.

Whilst the first phase of the High Speed 2 rail line from London to Birmingham has been given the go ahead by the Government with the announcement of a Hybrid Bill in today’s Queen's Speech, there is still no certainty on the second phase of the project from Birmingham further north or to Heathrow.

Prof Phil Blythe, Chair of the IET Transport Policy Panel, said: “HS2 could serve as a key catalyst for a more joined up approach to infrastructure development in the UK. A commitment for the entire length of the route is vital if it is to become the ‘backbone’ of such transport integration.

“Progressing with the HS2 project in this piecemeal fashion creates a large amount of uncertainty and risks Phase 2 never getting further than the drawing board. This risk is important to minimise, as only in Phase 2 will the main benefits of HS2 be delivered.

“The government must show its commitment to the entire route if HS2 has any chance of being the much needed spine for successful transport integration.”

Ends

About the IET:
IET high speed rail submission to the DfT: http://www.theiet.org/policy/submissions/s895.cfm
IET Video: HS2: what are the facts?: http://www.politics.co.uk/opinion-formers/institution-of-engineering-and-technology/article/iet-video-hs2-what-are-the-facts
The IET is Europe’s largest professional body of engineers with over 150,000 members in 127 countries.
Interview opportunities are available.
For more information, visit www.theiet.org.
Follow the IET on Twitter.

Media enquiries to:
Robert Beahan, Media Relations Manager
T: +44 (0)1438 767336
M: +44 (0)7595 400912
E: rbeahan@theiet.org

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