Grant Thornton’s Head of Public Services, Will McWilliams, comments on HS2 being given the go-ahead by government:
“It’s welcome news that HS2 has been given the green light from Government. The North urgently needs improved capacity and connectivity to London - particularly if we are serious about becoming a low carbon economy. HS2 will not only bring much-needed new capacity to the UK’s rail network, it will also unlock confidence, leverage further private sector investment and create thousands of new jobs across the country.
“Equally important is the wider commitment to strengthen local connectivity, including in and between towns and across the North of England, which will help to ‘level up’ the country’s economy. Every business knows that major investment programmes need to be well planned, costed and executed, so a rigorous approach and careful integration with other projects, such as the proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail line, will be required.
“The new three-way structure of the scheme will also have to be managed carefully. One of the key challenges to delivering major rail projects is effectively managing interfaces, and careful governance of the two that have now been created will be needed.”