UKCW 2018


Chris Grayling, new Transport Secretary, has backed the high-speed rail project, following fears that it would be scrapped.

Following the announcement of Theresa May as the new Prime Minister, the new Transport Secretary has calmed concerns that HS2 would be scrapped, by pledging his support.

Mr Grayling said he had no plans to back away from the HS2 project, highlighting that is was not only a speed project, but more so about capacity.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend, he said: “We have lines at the moment which have seen huge increases in the number of passengers, the amount of freight in recent years.

“The West Coast mainline for example is becoming really congested, it’s limiting the capacity of services to places like Northampton and Milton Keynes.

“Of course it makes sense if we’re going to build a new railway line for it to be a fast railway line, to increase travel times or reduce travel times from north to south, that’s logical.

“But actually we need a better transport system for the 21st century and HS2 is part of increasing the capacity of our transport system.”

A vote for MPs will take place later this year, on the first phase of HS2, and if the bill is approved, construction will start on the London Birmingham section.

HS2 Ltd is set to hand out £11Bn worth of contracts in the coming months.

Stop HS2 has urged Theresa May to undertake a fresh review of the rail project, after it failed a recent Department for Transport review, on the issues of both cost and scheduling of work.

The Transport Secretary also said he wanted to make a quick decision regarding the construction of a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick, in order to meet growing demand for air travel to and from London.

“We have a quasi-judicial role so I’m not going to say today whether I prefer Gatwick or Heathrow, there’s two options at Heathrow. I’m going to look at this very carefully in the coming weeks.”

Source: UK Construction Media

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