The economic impact of the HS2 Project

Whilst August experienced a 3.9% monthly drop in the value of construction output, the government is planning to invest more than £70 billion in all forms of transport by 2021. The High Speed 2 (HS2) project will represent £16 billion of this investment.

The first train service will not be operational until 2026 with HS2 eventually linking 8 of Britain’s 10 largest cities, serving 1 in 5 of the UK population. It will allow more passengers to use trains and more freight operators to use rail rather than road.

When complete the new railway will treble the number of seats on trains into Euston and almost double the number of trains per hour on the West Coast Main Line. It will also free up capacity on existing rail lines for more commuter, rural and freight train services, and potentially reduce cars and lorries on our roads, cutting congestion and carbon.

It all sounds very good, but what will it mean for the construction industry – a very competitive bidding environment where innovation, potential staffing shortages, alliances and new working practices will be scrutinised to ensure real Value for Money is achieved. The rewards will be significant for those companies who are successful.

The first phase of HS2 will link London Euston with a new station at Birmingham Curzon Street including a station at Old Oak Common in West London and another near Birmingham Airport.  It is expected to support approximately 40,000 jobs, with:

  • 9,000 construction jobs;
  • 1,500 permanent jobs; and
  • 30,000 jobs in station redevelopment areas in Euston, Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Eastside.

The second phase will divide into two lines, one to Manchester Piccadilly via Crewe and Manchester Airport and the other to Leeds via the East Midlands and Sheffield Meadowhall.  It is forecast to support the creation of 10,000 construction jobs and 1,400 operational and maintenance jobs.

HS2 will be integrated with the existing national railway network and HS2 trains will be compatible with existing railway lines, so that cities and towns beyond the new network – such as Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Preston, Warrington, Lancaster, Carlisle, Durham and Darlington – will also benefit from direct HS2 services.

Construction on phase one is due to start in 2017 and be completed by 2025. The first train services will run between London and Birmingham from 2026.

All potential business opportunities relating to the construction of HS2 and supply chain opportunities can be found at:

For further updates on the forthcoming investment in the UK’s transport infrastructure, including the recently announced biggest-ever upgrade of our motorways and key ‘A’ roads, contact Win That Bid on 0203 405 1850.