Posts tagged construction news
Builder Willmot Dixon has finally got the green light to start of the regeneration of Keynsham town centre, near Bristol.
Bath and North East Somerset Council was forced to postpone the August start of the project earlier this year after criticism from some local people, and the town’s civic society about the designs .
Now after several design variations to the roofs and cladding, the council planning committee has approved the scheme.
The project involves the £36m redevelopment of the existing council offices site in Keynsham with new shops, a library and new council offices.
The buildings have already been stripped for demolition and the scheme, while the planning wrangle was being sorted out.
The project will allow the council to reduce the amount of office space it uses from 12 building to four and become more financially efficient.
Reduced running costs will deliver 10% annual savings that will benefit the local taxpayer public purse. The Council carbon footprint specifically in its buildings will reduce by up to 70%.
Listen to Philip Sugarman, our CEO, being interviewed on BBC Radio Northampton.
The award-winning St Andrew’s Healthcare, which is the UK’s largest mental health charity, has confirmed it now has the funding package in place to enable a further major investment in brand new facilities at its Northampton base.
St Andrew’s, the largest charity sector provider of NHS care, has agreed a £52.5m funding package with Lloyds TSB, to include funding the construction of a new 90-bed psychiatric hospital. The new facility will provide secure accommodation for a number of new services and will allow expansion of its existing national services.
Professor Philip Sugarman Chief Executive Officer at St Andrew’s said “In the last ten years we have completed a £200m programme of development and refurbishment across four sites, with our new units achieving high levels of occupancy. We have seen continuous growth and a recent sharp rise in market share.”
“We are now ready to plan the next phase of growth, with new facilities for service users placed with us by our NHS customers. These developments will strengthen our position as the UK’s leading provider of specialist secure care and as the country’s only independent national teaching hospital.”
Chief Finance Officer Nigel Alcock says: “Despite challenging financial forecasts for independent mental healthcare providers, St Andrew’s saw turnover increase by over 5% last year, to £169m. As a charity it is essential that any financial agreements we enter into are right for our long-term commitment to care for as many people as possible. We are in a very different position to some private companies, and that’s why we believe that the charitable model offers huge potential for the sector.
“This funding agreement will help St Andrew’s maintain the great results we have achieved by reinvesting in the future of mental healthcare over the last few years. We are delighted to have finalised the deal with Lloyds, who have been fantastic to work with.”
David Hykin, Relationship Director at Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets said: “St Andrew’s Healthcare has delivered a strong track record of growth in recent years, demonstrating the strength of its balance sheet and its future potential. We are working closely with the management team to support the growth ambitions of the charity, which is a well-established and impressive enterprise in the healthcare sector.”
The University of Bath has awarded a £16m contract to VINCI Construction UK for the design and construction of a new, five-storey teaching building.
The General Teaching Accommodation (GTA) will include a range of high quality learning facilities, including group lecture rooms, two 350-space lectures theatres, and social spaces.
Glass walls spanning three storeys will provide high levels of natural light into a five-storey high circulation space. A ‘skywalk’ bridge will also connect the building with the main campus parade.
Once completed, the 8,000m2 building will double the number of large scale lecture theatres on campus, allowing up to 2,000 students to use the building at any one time.
The contract is part of the University Masterplan which provides a framework for the development of the campus until 2026.
Martyn Whalley, University of Bath’s Director of Estates, said: “The Masterplan sets out how we plan to provide state of the art facilities and with the new GTA we will have a wonderful resource to match the high quality of our teaching and learning.”
Steve Vorres, Regional Director, VINCI Construction UK, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by the University of Bath to deliver the new GTA building which forms part of the University’s three year major capital works investment programme. This scheme will provide an exemplar teaching facility for the University’s staff and growing student population and we are extremely proud to be part of its construction and legacy. The GTA project award continues the region’s recent successes of working with University clients. These relationships form an essential part of our key account strategy and stand us in good stead for our future pipeline”.
Completion is due in September 2013 with an opening date set for the following October. The project aims to further enhance the reputation of the university, which already boasts a top ten ranking in The Guardian’s 2013 university guide.
The Government has given the green light to a massive regeneration scheme that will build new homes and carry out extensive refurbishments to more than 650 council houses in Brunswick, an area of the inner city of Manchester.
The 25-year regeneration project will see significant investment to the area, paving the way for new jobs in thesector and trade professionals.
The Homes and Community Agency (HCA), which approved the regeneration plan, said it will include building an improved neighbourhood design with new road layouts and safe open space. The project will also build a new retail area including new shops and amenities coupled with a 60-bed accommodation facility.
Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, Cllr Jim Battle, welcomed the announcement for Brunswick saying that residents have long waited for such good news that will transform their area and deliver new homes.
Mr Battle said: “We have a fantastic community here that will no doubt continue to prosper as the regeneration plans come to fruition. Being so close to the city centre, coupled with the promise of new homes and an improved neighbourhood layout, I can see a bright future for Brunswick.”
The Government’s approval for the project means the Council can now consider a variety of bidders who will be responsible for delivering the regeneration plan. The Council said it will evaluate final bids from both Fern and Solutions 4 Brunswick, before selecting the preferred bidder later this year.
What’s your reaction to the approval of the long awaited regeneration plans in Brunswick? How the Government’s decision to refurbish and build new homes will benefit you/ your business?
Today the Office of National Statistics has released a new report showing the growth of new construction orders in the UK, in the first quarter of 2012, there saw a 4.6% increase from the fourth quarter of 2011. The ONS also reported today that new orders in infrastructure rocketed by 60 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period last year.
According to Nick Hayward, managing director of ATL (Apprenticeships Training Limited – the fulfillment centres for T4TS) one of the UK’s leading providers of building services training, with more than 5,000 students a year passing through its centres, it’s very positive news, demonstrating the opportunities for the school leavers and adults looking for a new career path in construction: “There has never been a greater time to join the industry. We know there is a growing shortage for dedicated skilled tradesmen as more and more workers reach retirement age. Couple this with the news of growth in both private industrial and private commercial work and it just goes to show the industry is still thriving.
“This new statistical evidence information from the ONS clearly highlights the growing opportunities in the construction sector, contradicting the Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers_ Index issued earlier this week, which indicated that British construction hit a three-month low last month. Our experience working with hundreds of apprentices only serves to support the ONS findings further, with ATL students who have entered the sector from school and those moving to construction as a career change demonstrating the popularity of this sector and the real job opportunities that are available. The construction sector will only continue to grow as new buildings and infrastructure increase in demand as the UK pulls out of recession.”
Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business, has unveiled plans to invest over £1billion in Scotch whisky production over the next five years to meet growing global demand for its brands.
A major new malt distillery will be built as part of the investment, alongside a programme of major expansion at a number of Diageo’s existing distilleries. Detailed plans will also be developed for a second new distillery which will be built if global demand for Scotch is sustained at expected levels.
The company also plans to invest in substantial new warehousing capacity to house the millions of additional litres of Scotch whisky which the distillation investment will produce.
Announcing the investment Diageo Chief Executive, Paul Walsh said: “This is a pivotal moment in the development of the Scotch whisky category for Diageo. Over recent years our brands have achieved remarkable, sustained global growth. Scotch whisky is Scotland’s most celebrated manufactured export, led by brands like Johnnie Walker, resonating with consumers from Boston to Beijing.
“We expect that success to continue, particularly in the high growth markets around the world, which is why we are announcing this major investment in Scotch whisky production, committing over £1billion in the next five years, to seize that opportunity for global growth. This builds on the foundations we have already laid down over recent years through sustained investment in both production assets and in maturing Scotch inventories.
“Scotch whisky is a significant manufacturing export industry in the United Kingdom, driving domestic investment and job creation through our success in exporting to high growth markets around the world. We look forward to working with both the UK and Scottish Governments to realise the full potential of our investment plan, and to continue growing global Scotch exports.”
Across Scotland the investment will create over a hundred new Diageo jobs, largely high value jobs in rural areas of Scotland. It is also expected the investment will create an average of 250 construction jobs for each year of the investment period and in wider Scottish economy there will be a knock on effect which will generate around 500i further jobs. Diageo also intends to make its contribution to efforts to tackle youth unemployment by taking on around one hundred apprentices and graduate trainees over the term of the investment, and the company will also encourage its suppliers and construction contractors to focus on youth job creation and apprenticeships.
The investment programme will be underpinned by Diageo’s commitment to reduce its environmental impact, with a programme of bio energy solutions planned to be implemented over the same timescale as the distillery expansion projects.
Mr Walsh added: “I’m particularly pleased our investment will generate significant numbers of new Diageo jobs, as well as boosting the local construction sector and stimulating job creation throughout the Scottish economy. We are determined to use this investment to make a contribution towards helping people into training and work through our apprentice and graduate placement scheme and by using the opportunity to encourage suppliers to take on apprentices to work on the investment projects.”
In the last five years Diageo has reported 50% growth in net sales of its Scotch brandsii with total net sales approaching £3billion this financial year. Scotch represented 23% of Diageo’s volume, 27% of net sales and a third of gross profit in the financial year 2011iii. In the first half of financial year 2012, Diageo’s Scotch category saw 8% volume growth and 14% net sales growthiv.
Over the five year period Diageo plans to invest over £500 million in the construction of the distillation and warehousing capacity. This increased production capacity also requires Diageo to commit £500million in working capital for the maturing spirit which will be laid down over the next five years. The exact total investment figures may vary over time depending on the progress of specific projects, but the overall commitment is expected to total over £1billion over the five years.
Supporting this investment, Diageo also plans to commit £5 million over five years towards community initiatives as part of its sustainability and responsibility programme in Scotland. Priority areas for the community investment programme will be: leadership in the environment; responsible drinking – improving the night economy and safety at local level; and socio-economic development, including youth employment and entrepreneurship. This will involve an integrated approach across Diageo’s production, commercial and brands heritage businesses, including The Gleneagles Hotel, host to the Ryder Cup 2014. Full details of this programme will be announced in due course.
Today many media outlets have chosen to cast doubts about the construction industry due to a report by Markit/CIPS. You can judge for yourself what the report actually says by clicking on the link below. However, to save you the trouble, here are some key quotes from the report:
“Construction firms indicated that commercial output remained the fastest growing broad area of activity in May. The slowest expansion was seen in residential”.
“Companies that saw an increase in new business inflows mostly commented on competitive pricing strategies at their units.”
“However, construction firms added to their payrolls numbers for the third month running, driven by ongoing growth in business activity during May.”
“Input buying continued to rise during the latest survey period but, in line with the trend for new work,”
Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit said:“On a more positive note, the fall in inflation is allowing construction companies to price more competitively to win new contracts, but could be a double-edged sword as suppliers continue to see their margins squeezed.”
It makes one wonder what it takes to generate a positive headline in 2012?
Tell us your views here or on FaceBook
Guest contributor Rick Dawson.
The London Borough of Enfield has launched a consultation on the Masterplan for Meridian Water that could see 5,000 new homes build and create 3,000 new jobs.
The new development, which has the potential to become one of the largest eco-developments in Britain, has been designed to create new opportunities for canal and riverside homes in North London.
The £1.3 billion development will pave the way for building construction work, creating new jobs for trade professionals in the building construction industry.
Enfield Council has launched a public consultation on the 82 hectares site in Edmonton, currently occupied by a former industrial building, Construction News Reported today.
The council is looking for public input about the project and the consultation will run until the beginning of August 2012, seeking the opinions of investors, stakeholders, residents and local businesses. The Council said it was planning to work closely with potential developers in order to share the future vision of the area.
The current proposals aim to set ambitious targets for sustainability, including plans for a comprehensive district heating network. Meridian Water will also deliver improvements to public transport including improved rail services on the line connecting the area to Liverpool Street and Stratford.
The Local Authority member for Business and Regeneration, Councillor Del Goddard said: “Meridian Water is the most significant contribution to the transformation of Edmonton and it will play a significant role in driving the expansion of north London for decades to come.”
Under the masterplan written by the London Development Agency (LDA) the projects will be a significant boost for the local economy and diverse sectors of employment.
The LDA Design’s director of urban design Colin James said: “This masterplan is the first step towards bringing forward Enfield council’s vision for creating new high quality, energy efficient housing and breathing new life into employment areas. ”
What is your view of the Meridian Water Masterplan that could build 5,000 new homes and create 3,000 new jobs? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook page:
In a drive to boost the housing market and accelerate the building of new properties in the capital, the Greater London Authority (GLA) is seeking developers to join a new £5 billion procurement panel which will open more work for external contractors and building developers, Construction News reported today.
From 2013 the new housing procurement panel will replace the current Homes and Communities’ Agency, the London Delivery Partner (LDP). It is going to be managed directly by the GLA, speeding up the process for building private and social houses as well as improving the development of properties in the public sector.
The new panel will recruit up to 28 building firms that employ thousands of workers in the building construction engineering sector. This could provide more employment opportunities for trade professionals.
A bidding process is currently open to any firms that are capable of delivering housing developments, raising sufficient finance and improving community facilities. Interested developers need to apply before 4th May 2012 and successful bidders will be awarded by 1st April 2013.
The scheme is expected to increase competition between contractors and improve current housing standards as well as optimise the process of marketing and selling new homes in the capital.
What’s your reaction to the £5 billion fund which will give the Greater London Authority more control over future housing developments in the capital? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:
There has been a significant increase in the number of vacancies advertised in the building construction industry, despite the negative forecast on UK unemployment figures to reach almost 3 million by the end of this year.
Recruitment consultants have reported an increase in construction vacancies for the first month of this year. One of the UK’s largest construction engineering recruiter has reported a rise of more than 50% in the number of advertised construction vacancies on their website, careerstructure.com.
Data published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has shown that engineering and construction workers were the most sought after employees in the UK. In contrast, the demand for hotel and catering staff has significantly declined according to the last survey from this year.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has published a report suggesting unemployment will continue to rise. However, the building construction industry is expected to continue to hiring more workers due to recent infrastructure projects and significant government investment.
The government has invested £5 billion towards infrastructure projects announced in the Autumn Statement in November, by Chancellor George Osborne. This has proven a positive incentive for the industry in regards to the progressive requirement as a result of business confidence and growth in the construction sector.
Do you think the increase of construction vacancies will continue and why? Share your thoughts on the future performance of the construction industry by commenting on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:
Unqualified Workers Not Likely to Find Employment – “More employment opportunities for qualified operatives”
One of the largest building companies in the UK, Major Home Builders Group (MHBG), has pledged today to continue with its initiative to only hire qualified workers in order to raise standards and tackle skills shortage in the construction industry.
The initiative between MHBG, one of the twelve largest UK home builders, and Construction Skills has encouraged more people to become professionally qualified in the building construction sector. An increasing number of companies in the building industry have committed to employ only qualified operatives as the very minimum for workers is have a Construction Skills Competency Scheme (CSCS) card.
More than half a million people took their CSCS cards last year. The test, which is required for all construction workers, has been an important factor for raising health and safety standards, as well as helping workers to improve their general quality of work.
Corporate Director at Construction Skills, John Cowley, welcomed the partnership between MHBG and Construction Skills saying that it is vital for the future of the building construction industry to have qualified workforce which is continually raising work standards and promptly complying with industry’s regulation framework.
Mr Cowley said: “We’re delighted that the MHBG has committed to this partnership. It is a major step forward in our drive to qualify the workforce, making our industry world leaders in the skills and training arena.”
As previously reported in the Sector Skills Agreement, the government has encouraged for a closer partnership between industry officials and training providers in order to encourage more workers to feel the benefits of becoming a professionally qualified person.
Managing Director of Redrow, a member of the MHBG group, Neil Fitzsimmons explained that the requirements for all workers, working on their sites, to have an appropriate qualification sends a strong message that the industry wants a qualified workforce, recognising that qualified workers get the job done faster, with fewer mistakes and accidents.
What is your opinion on the importance of being a qualified professional in order to find better employment opportunities? How much more would a qualified operative earn than a non-qualified? Share your experiences by leaving a comment on the Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:
The new £340 million headquarters of UBS in London’s financial district is expected to be completed by 2014, meaning it could create more jobs for people in the building construction sector.
The Swiss bank has signed a pre-letting agreement with developers British Land and Blackstone for the construction work to start in April this year. Demolition and site preparation work near Liverpool Street station is currently underway, leading publication, Construction Enquirer, reported today.
UBS is the largest tenant in the 30-acre Broadgate development in London’s City financial district which will include four trading floors that can be adapted into normal office space.
The new building will pay attention to sustainability using photovoltaics and solar thermal panels to generate green energy while rainwater harvesting will reduce water consumption.
British Land said: “Demolition of the existing 4 & 6 Broadgate buildings is well underway and will be completed in April; with delivery of the new bespoke building on schedule for the first quarter in 2014.
“The joint venture has already placed or tendered around 60% of the project’s construction costs within budget and programme.”
Tim Roberts, Head of Offices for British Land, told Construction Enquirer: “This is another significant milestone in the development of the new UBS building at 5 Broadgate and a real boost for the City.
“The Broadgate estate continues to evolve to serve the needs of a range of city occupiers and the 30,000 people based there.” – Mr Roberts added.
The two developers, British Land and Blackstone, said UBS will occupy the new building for period of around 18 years.
Do you welcome the move of the Swiss bank giant UBS to build its headquarters in London? What does the £340 million investment mean for the building construction sector? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below:
Prompt and successful completion of the building construction work for the Olympic Games in London this summer could be a chance for UK firms to get work all over the world – a leading publication in the trades, Construction Enquirer, reported today.
One of the UK’s leading International Consultants, McBains Cooper, has urged the Government’s trade teams to introduce more building contracts from abroad for the building construction industry in Britain.
McBains Cooper state that London 2012 is an excellent example of how a major project should be built and UK firms should use their management expertise to export their skills and knowledge to make major projects worldwide equally as impressive.
The successful construction of the Olympic venues triggers a world-wide interest for many countries which will host similar events in the future. The building of venues for the Olympics in London 2012 will give UK firms the unique opportunity to showcase their expertise and professionalism to potentially participate in big projects around the world.
An increasing number of building companies across the UK are considering applications for construction work ahead of major events in Qatar, Brazil and Russia. McBains Cooper, which has an alliance in Brazil for the venue of the 2016 games, expressed its determination to negotiate with all regions that are candidates for the 2020 games to secure future contracts.
Chief executive at McBains Cooper, Michael Thirkettle, said: “Everybody involved in construction, whether in Brazil or the 2020 candidate venues, has commented on the success of the planning and construction of everything London games-related. More often than not it’s accompanied by some positive reference to the UK construction industry, and its professional advisers and consultancies being the best in the world.
“The fact is that in comparison to any other recent major sporting event – and some recent Olympics – London 2012 construction has run far faster and more efficiently. That has been noted by other countries, and, frankly, because of our reputation, British construction and professional consultancy businesses are amongst the very few who can travel the world to help drive and deliver major projects for other venue cities.”
Mr Thirkettle thinks that every business in the UK has the unique opportunity to promote itself and bring more investment from abroad.
He said: “The Olympics is a fantastic global shop window for British management expertise, design and construction skills, and that expertise can be exported to make other games equally impressive.”
Do you see the successful construction work of the Olympic venues as an opportunity for your business to win more contracts in future? Tell us how optimistic are you about exporting your business abroad?
As reported earlier this week, Heathrow Airport has announced to build a new terminal for the London Olympic Games to ease the increased traffic of people at one of the busiest airports in the world.
Building work at London Heathrow will create new jobs, transport networks and regenerate 6th runway in Heathrow Airport, which expects nearly 50% more passengers arriving on July 26, the day before the opening ceremony.
As part of preparations for the new terminal at Heathrow, building construction work will take place to build specialist lifts for Paralympians and improve facilities from which participating athletes will depart.
Nick Cole, Heathrow’s head of Olympic and Paralympic planning, asserted: “The London 2012 Games will be a unique operational task and a massive challenge for Heathrow.
“The airport is one of the most popular international airports in the world and already operates close to capacity.”- Mr Cole added.
Work is also currently underway on Heathrow’s new £2.2 billion terminal two, which will replace its existing terminals one and two once completed in 2014, with around 5,000 people to be employed on the site of this project.
What is your opinion about the plan of building a new Olympic Terminal at Heathrow Airport? If you are working in the building construction sector, do you think that could be a good opportunity for you/your business? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:
King’s College NHS Trust is looking for a building contractor to build a three-storey critical care unit at one of its campuses in South London – a leading publication in the building sector, Construction Engineer, has announced today.
Firms are invited to express an interest in the redevelopment of King’s College NHS Trust until 22nd February for invitation to tender a month later.
The winning contractor will build a new steel frame building over an existing block, which will remain operational, and complete the shell before demolishing elements of the existing structure.
It is not clear yet how many builders will be employed as a result of King’s College renovation, but the scale of the project suggests it will create new jobs in the building sector.
International construction and property consultancy Sweett will attain the building through a two stage process which further details will be revealed in March.
The scheme has been designed to allow the existing theatre block to continue to operate whilst building work is being carried out.
The project will deliver a consolidated critical care facility at Kings College Hospital Denmark Hill Campus in line with current Department of Health guidelines and will develop the hospital as a Major Trauma Centre.
King’s expects the contract will be at its final stage by August this year.
For more information on how you can express an interest and put your bid forward please visit Tenders website.
Do you think that your (business’s) bid could be a successful one? If you are working in the building sector are you more optimistic about finding a job? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment here:
As reported on Train4TradeSkills blog this week, Premier Inn, the England’s biggest budget hotel chain, has announced further investments for the building industry as it paves the way for more hotels to be built across the UK.
In addition to the £5.9 million investment in Camborne announced yesterday, Premier Inn brings £4.1 million investment to Coventry, as it opens a new hotel later this month.
With low availability of affordable hotel places in some parts of the UK and pressure to reduce costs, more smaller hotels are being built – especially such offering affordable prices to customers. Premier Inn has invested millions of pounds across the country in building and renovating new hotels across the UK. Recent developments include hotels in Worcestershire, Barry, Dartford and Camborne.
Although UK unemployment rose by 118,000, in the past three months since November, the building sector doesn’t seem to be affected due to the governments’ extensive investment to create thousands of jobs in the building construction sector.
The Prime Minister announced in the Commons today that whilst unemployment is rising, there is an increase in the number of people working; another 18, 000 people are in work.
“We need more private sector employment and we need to move further and faster on that agenda.” – Mr Cameron said.
Chris Grayling, the Work and Pensions Minister said in a BBC interview this morning that the recent figures on unemployment are more complex than they first appear.
Mr Grayling said that the government has lots of work to do in regards to improving employment opportunities and getting more people back to work. He said: “The private sector is creating jobs faster than the changes in the public sector.”
Mr Grayling said that there were more to the statistics than what first met the eye, but he admitted unemployment level was much too high.
If you are in the building sector, do you feel safer with your job than people in other industries? Tell us why? Do you think that enough is being done to tackle the unemployment?
More than ten people have become victims of Trevor Bateman, 54, from Swindon and David Merriman, 49, from Nottingham who were convicted for various fraud-related charges at Oxford Crown Court.
The pair ran a business called AS Contractors; It has conned elderly homeowners out of thousands of pounds over period of two years.
David Marriman has been sent to prison for three-and-a-half years after being found guilty of 18 charges of fraud, misleading homeowners and performing poorly and simply unnecessary building work. Trevor Bateman was sentenced to four years for similar charges and transferring criminal property.
Judge Anthony King told the pair they had “proved themselves wholly unworthy to trade in any way in the building industry and run an extremely obnoxious scam.”
One of their clients, Mrs Thomas, was charged more than £6,000 for an unfinished bathroom. She told the Oxford Mail that she hoped this verdict will stop the two men from doing such things to other people in future. However, Mrs Thomas admitted she was not entirely convinced about this.
“I cannot tell you what a plausible sort of villain Mr Bateman is. He sounds so pleasant and would really do his best to assure you that you are going to be all right. I’m not surprised people were taken in.” Mrs Thomas said.
Many of victims were old women who lived alone, including Jean Price, who paid £47,000 for work valued at less than £10,000.
How do you feel about people who have become victims of building fraud? Is there any advice you would like to give to people to avoid such disappointments? Share your thoughts by commenting here:
The government has backed up £32 billion plan today for high-speed railway which will create hundreds of thousands long term jobs in the building engineering sector, help the economy and cut the journey time from London to Birmingham to 49 minutes.
As reported this week, top business leaders and economists pushed the government to give green light to the high-speed rail (HS2) between London and Birmingham.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening backed up the first phase of HS2 in the Commons today, a 100-mile link, which will be built for 10 years and high-speed trains will start running by 2026.
“High Speed 2 is a scheme to deliver hugely enhanced rail capacity and connectivity between Britain’s major conurbations,” the Transport Secretary said.
“It is the largest transport infrastructure investment in the UK for a generation, and, with the exception of High Speed 1, is the first major new railway line since the Victorian era.”-Mrs Greening added.
The government has also argued that the project will generate £44bn of benefits to the economy over 60 years. The line is considered to be extended further north to Scotland in future decades.
Cities in the north of England such as Manchester and Leeds would also see reduced journey times and will be equally accessible when the whole project is finalised in 2032.
In a statement today, The Department for Transport said: “HS2 is not just about getting between London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester more quickly, but bringing faster services and many more seats to towns and cities well beyond the HS2 network.
“It would work just like a motorway. No one uses a motorway to get all the way from their front door to their final destination, but they use it because it offers high capacity and faster services – precisely what HS2 will offer rail passengers.”
Are you for or against the new high-speed rail line and what difference do you think it would make to you and your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here: