The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) has reaffirmed its support for High Speed 2, after the public consultation on the project ended on Friday.
ACE chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin said: “High Speed 2 … has the potential to catalyse sustainable economic growth beyond London and south east England.
“It should be considered as an important part of the overall vision for the UK’s strategic transport links. While I appreciate the technical and financial challenges involved, we would urge a constructive engagement of government, industry and communities in order to make it deliverable.”
The ACE said engaging local communities and ensuring that there is widespread understanding of the benefits of the scheme − particularly in those communities not served directly by high speed trains − will be vital for the project’s success.
ACE’s key recommendations
ACE’s key recommendations are:
- Continue to promote High Speed 2 as part of an integrated programme of transport enhancements.
- Align development of High Speed 2 with low-carbon electricity generation and grid enhancements.
- Focus on community engagement by being explicit about the wider benefits of High Speed 2, particularly in communities that would not be served directly by high speed trains.
- Consider how the revenues generated directly and indirectly from High Speed 2 could be distributed to communities more widely, for example through the Regional Growth Fund.
- Examine the possibility of using the alignment of High Speed 2 to facilitate other infrastructure enhancements such as the power grid, water, sewerage and broadband.