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The government’s approval for the HS2 project to begin the construction phase has been hailed “fabulous news” by Transport for the North.Ministers say the decision to begin phase one of the high-speed railway will provide “significant investment” in the near and longer-term economic health of the country.
Responding to the Notice to Proceed, TFN Chief Executive, Barry White, said it marked a great opportunity to deliver real change to the north.
“Today’s announcement that HS2 has been given permission to start building the network in earnest is fabulous news,” he added.
“It marks the beginning of a new era in British railway construction that will see new high speed lines built to the North of England – the first railways to the North in more than a century.”
The project was given the green light by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in February, with HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson today adding the new railway will be the spine of the country’s transport network.
HS2 Ltd chief executive Mark Thurston said the announcement represents both an immediate boost to the construction industry and an important investment in Britain’s future.
The Notice to Proceed means the four joint ventures previously awarded main civil contracts can move to the detailed design and construction stage.
Mr White added: “This will give much needed new capacity to help economic growth and prosperity and rebalance the British economy.
“Together with Northern Powerhouse Rail, transforming connectivity across the North, there is a real opportunity for levelling up to enable the North to realise its potential as a world-class area to live, work and invest.”