Britain’s HS2 project gets green light despite coronavirus
The construction of the United Kingdom’s major rail infrastructure project, HS2, may now go ahead as long as coronavirus safety procedures are followed.
Work is set to begin on one of Britain’s largest infrastructure projects in recent years. The UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced in February that work would start on the £100bn rail project ‘within weeks’.
Phase one of the project, which will connect Britain’s two largest cities, London and Birmingham, is set to be completed as soon as 2028 as operations are set to begin immediately, despite the lockdown which has currently grinded the nation to a halt.
The work will be undertaken by several companies which won contracts during the planning and design stages of the project. These include Skanska, Costain, Sir Robert McAlpine, Eiffage Genie Civil, Kier, Balfour Beatty and Vinci.
Due to the virus, a number of social distancing measures will need to be taken in order to help tackle the spread of COVID-19, but this is not expected to affect the commencement of the construction of the project.
HS2 Minister, Andrew Stephenson said: “While the government’s top priority is rightly to combat the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives, we cannot delay work on our long-term plan to level up the country.”
The news was also welcomed by the boss of the Construction Industry Council, Graham Watts, stating: "The notice to proceed with HS2 is welcome at this time, particularly for the benefit of the economy”.
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