GB Railfreight has called on the next government to prioritise a decision on the future of HS2 as soon as possible following the general election on 12th December .
In its submission to the Oakervee review – a study into HS2 commissioned by Boris Johnson after he became prime minister – GB Railfreight said that long term uncertainty over the future of Hs2, or even a cancellation, could see further infrastructure projects such as investment in high speed rail in the North of England delayed.
The panel assembled to conduct the review was disbanded this week. It was led by Douglas Oakervee and was aimed at giving a clear go or no-go decision on the future of Hs2 by the autumn.
GB Railfreight said that the general election could mean an extended delay on the decision, which could put jobs at risk. It said that some 2,000 businesses had played a role in the preparation for the construction of HS2 between London and Birmingham and 9,000 people are currently employed directly or indirectly by the project.
John Smith, MD of GB Railfreight ,said: “The decision to review the project at this late stage has led to uncertainty across the construction supply chain across the UK.
“Further delay will mean that people and resources which have been built up ready for work on Phase One to start might be lost as business won’t be able to afford to keep them in readiness for a final decision to be taken.
“A decision to cancel the project would be a significant blow to the economy of the West Midlands and the country as a whole.”
By Michelle Mooney