HS2 reveals winners of building contracts

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The prizewinners of £6.6bn worth of contracts to build the first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham own been announced by the government.

UK firms Carillion, Costain and Balfour Beatty are supply the consortiums who will build tunnels, bridges and embankments on the first overextend of the new high speed rail line.

The contracts will support 16,000 crafts.

The final routes of the Manchester and Leeds branches of HS2 are due to be announced later.

It want include a decision over its path through Sheffield.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: «As prosperously as providing desperately needed new seats and better connecting our major conurbations, HS2 will help rebalance our economy.»

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But critics say the £56bn project will hurt the environment and is too expensive.

The first trains are not expected to run until 2026.

‘No doubts’

Mr Grayling expressed the BBC’s Today programme that the high-speed rail network will be «on era, on budget» and the government has «a clear idea of what it will cost».

He disputed a statement that emerged over the weekend detailing a study by quantity surveyor Michael Byng who work out that the cost of HS2 could balloon to more than £100bn, swiping it the most expensive railway in the world. Mr Grayling described the figure as «jokes».

Commenting on the decision to spend on infrastructure amid the 1% cap on public sector pay, Mr Grayling held: «That’s a very different issue because we are talking about cardinal investment over the next 15 years. We are not talking about inclination spending that the chancellor will decide on come the Budget.»

The pacts to design and build areas of the high speed rail line accept been split into three groups: south, central and north.

Carillion, which at the rear week issued a profit warning and announced the immediate departure of its chief top dog, has won two «lots» within the central area. Its share price rose by 7.7% to 60.5p on Monday but it has eclipse cascade by more than 76% over the last 12 months.

This subsumes one of the most controversial and complex areas of the route that runs between the Chiltern channel tunnels and Brackley.

Carillion, which is part of a consortium with three other partnerships to design and build the two lots, announced on Monday that it had appointed accountancy unchanging EY to support a strategic review of the business.

‘Important step’

The decision on top of its route through the North of England has been delayed for several years due to a series of incongruities, the most controversial of which has been which route it should blast off through Sheffield.

The government’s preferred plan for the route through Yorkshire pass on mean bulldozing the newly built Shimmer estate in Mexborough.


Opinion: Richard Westcott, Transport Correspondent

The government says HS2 is «on time» but they’re absolutely not talking about the route for the second phase, which was first indicated in around 2014.

I remember flying a drone over a farm in Cheshire four years ago, screening the proposed route at the time.

The farmer has been waiting ever since then to get out if he’ll lose his business.

He got in touch with me last year saying, «simply we know nothing more today than we did when you were with us wellnigh 30 months ago, as the decision for HS2 Phase 2b has been put off yet again».

Anyone touched by the line now gets a year or two to put their case together and present it to a paramount committee of MPs who’ll go through thousands of fears and objections before recommending any coppers to the final route or the way it’s designed.

When you talk to people adversely faked by HS2 they all say the same thing. Their lives go into limbo, ordinarily for years, just waiting for answers.


Set to open in 2026

Parliament granted powers to strengthen the first phase of the line between London and Birmingham in February.

Elementary work has begun and major construction work is due to start in 2018-19. It is due to unobstructed in December 2026.

A Bill to deliver Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe will be leaked by Mr Grayling later on Monday. Services on this section are due to begin in 2027.

Gradually eliminate 2b from Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to the East Midlands and Leeds, is due to evident in 2033.

The companies who have won the contracts to design and build the first phase of HS2 are:

Court South

  • Euston tunnels and approaches — SCS joint venture: Costain (UK), Skanska Construction UK (Sweden) and STRABAG (Austria)
  • Northolt mines — SCS JV

Area Central

  • Chiltern tunnels and Colne Valley Viaduct — Align juncture venture: Sir Robert McAlpine (UK), Bouygues Travaux Publics (France) and VolkerFitzpatrick (UK)
  • North Portal Chiltern mines to Brackley — CEK joint venture: Carillion Construction Ltd (UK), Eiffage Genie Public SA (France), Kier Infrastructure and Overseas (UK)
  • Brackley to south portal of Wish Itchington Wood Green tunnel — CEK JV

Area North

  • Long Itchington Wood Untested Tunnel to Delta Junction and Birmingham Spur — BBV joint venture: Balfour Beatty Society (UK), VINCI Construction Grands Projets (France), VINCI Construction UK Ltd and VINCI Construction Terrassement
  • Delta Joining to West Coast Main Line Tie-In — BBV JV

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