HS2 will deliver “economic and regeneration” benefits to the industry, according to the Railway Industry Association (RIA).
The organisation, which is the voice of the supply community, believes the independent review announced by the Transport Secretary is entirely appropriate, given the importance of major projects and their costs.
However, the RIA’s Chief Executive, Darren Caplan, responded by asking for perspective, and instructed people to remember the benefits that the scheme will bring; he proceeded to point these out.
“The RIA welcomes the fact the review will be completed quickly to remove damaging uncertainty and allow a notice to proceed in December.
“However, we should put the HS2 scheme into perspective and remember all the benefits it brings.
“The review will show that spend on the project will be about £10 billion per year over the next three year period, out of some £2,500 billion of public spending projected at the time.
“That is 0.4% of annual public spending. Meanwhile, its economic benefits far outweigh the costs, with more than £90 billion in GDP growth per year generated across the country, 9,000 jobs already involved with the scheme, and at peak construction, 30,000 jobs supported.”
The RIA also say the project will increase capacity on the East and West Coast main lines, ensuring the regions are better linked.
It is for these reasons that the Association believes economic and regeneration benefits should be enough to see HS2 ultimately supported to continue once the review is over.
Darren Caplan added: “HS2 provides clear economic and regeneration benefits to the whole country, with the great cities of the Midlands and the North in particular making it clear they are united in their support for the project as the catalyst for their renaissance.
“RIA and our members trust the Oakervee Review team will produce a report which will ultimately support HS2, and ensure the UK gets the world class rail infrastructure and additional capacity it needs in the years ahead.”