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HS2 Ltd Chairman Sir David Higgins has said that the HS2 project is already changing the way governments and investors are planning the future of the country. The claims were made at a speech in Manchester as part of a push on creation of the Government’s “Northern Powerhouse”.
A Government report published yesterday, titled HS2: Changing Britain, says that the new high speed rail link between London and the Midlands, which will later be extended to the North of England, is already impacting the way central and local government and business enterprises are cooperating in order to develop transport systems and transform local economies.
The Government is keen to make HS2 a flagship project in re-balancing the UK economy. Currently, business and wealth is focused on the south east of England around London, while the north suffers high levels of unemployment and poverty.
The report states that local authorities and business partnerships in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds are re-thinking their transport systems and making efforts towards attracting private investmentsinto their cities. Companies in Leeds, Birmingham and Sollihull are “beginning to recognise the benefits” that HS2 will bring.
As part of Sir David’s speech, he pointed out that the UK infrastructure industry should learn from best practice and make its approach more streamlined, investing in skills, innovation and technology as well as enhancing coordination between the design and construction phases of projects.
Sir David said:
“As a twenty year project we have no excuse not to become more streamlined in our approach and not to innovate.”
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