High Speed 2 (HS2) could provide a £200M windfall for the UK plant hire industry, according to the Construction Plant-Hire Association (CPA).
CPA director Kevin Minton says the £17bn phase one of the scheme will benefit the plant industry despite an emphasis on offsite construction.
“One thing that can’t be done off site is earthmoving,” said Minton. “Around 60M.m3 of material will need to be shifted, and as current HS2 chairman Doug Oakervee acknowledged at the recent supply chain conference, earthmoving machine capacity issues will need long-term planning.”
Scheme promoter HS2 Ltd has stressed its enthusiasm for early supply chain involvement, and is looking for innovation from suppliers. Minton said that HS2 technical director Andrew McNaughton has quoted the example of excavators equipped with GPS, that can create an accurate gradient without marking out. “Given the HS2 design’s preference for landscape integrity, a company that can supply this capability will have the edge,” said Minton.