The announcements of HS2 routes are coming thick and fast, with the lines connecting Glasgow and Edinburgh to London confirmed by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.
Prior to the confirmation of the routes which are expected to bring huge economic gains to Scotland, the Department for Transport confirmed the joint ventures chosen to build Phase I of HS2 with £6.6 billion worth of contracts awarded.
The government’s hope for HS2 in Scotland is much the same as for the north of England: greater connections to cities throughout Britain will encourage businesses to branch out further afield, as their offices will be easier to access.
This will boost the economies of all these areas.
Indeed, the building of Phase I will benefit Scotland, with over 100 companies already expressing an interest in the opportunities that will see the creation of 16,000 jobs.
The rail network of HS2 will alleviate the pressure on the services that currently exist and Phase I work between London and Birmingham will result in faster trains that then move onwards to Glasgow. It is expected that journey times from London to Glasgow will dip under four hours.
Thousands of seats will be freed up on the services to Glasgow and Edinburgh and by 2033, journey times to these cities from London will be at the three hours, 40 minute mark, thanks to the HS2 routes.
Chris Grayling said: “Britain’s new railway line will bring huge economic benefits to Scotland and help ensure this government delivers on its promise to spread wealth beyond London and to the south east.
“But as well as creating skilled jobs, apprenticeships and business opportunities, it will also mean real day-to-day improvements for passengers.”
UK government Lord Ian Duncan, described this announcement as ‘a landmark step’.
“The confirmation of these new routes is fantastic news. HS2 will mean faster journeys for passengers travelling to and from Edinburgh, Glasgow and further afield – and it is a real opportunity for the highly skilled Scottish companies who will be bidding for contracts on this project.
“This is a landmark step in delivering HS2, and it is good news for Scotland.”