27 October 2014
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has responded to today’s publication of the HS2 report: “Rebalancing Britain: from HS2 towards a national transport strategy” which concludes that improving city connectivity is key to boosting our economy.
Sahar Danesh from the IET said: “A crucial factor to the success of HS2 will be making sure that individual transport projects are not developed in isolation. We must look at our transport network as a whole – that includes roads, rail and air travel.
“This new report reiterates the fact that High Speed rail is about improving transport links in the north and not just connecting infrastructure to London. Having a clear strategy that allows Network Rail, the Highways Agency and Local Authorities to work together is therefore crucial to ensure northern cities can take advantage of the new infrastructure in their region.
“HS2 will be a huge catalyst for economic redevelopment along parts of the route. We’ve heard a lot about these opportunities for the major cities connected by the high speed line, but, until now, little or nothing about the potential wins for cities beyond the immediate confines of the HS2 network.
“There is great potential through the connections to the east and west coast main lines for cities other than Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds to benefit from HS2, but the challenges around realising these benefits must be tackled now to ensure these locations do not fall behind.
“Another crucial factor for the success of HS2 is the availability of engineers to deliver them on time and on budget. Currently, demand for engineers remains high in the UK but companies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit the people they need. This is only going to get worse as major projects such as HS2 move a step closer to reality.”