High Speed 2 chairman David Higgins has set out plans to use the £56bn scheme to “transform” the infrastructure industry.
Higgins said the mammoth project to create a rapid rail link from London to the North would help reform the UK construction sector.
Procurement is underway for seven contracts for the main civils works along the phase one route from London to Birmingham; while seven joint ventures have been shortlisted for a share of £900M of preparatory work.
Higgins said the project would be streamlined using early contractor involvement; enabling works contracts; incentivised deals; and laying temporary tarmac along the route as groundworks are completed to boost access to work sites.
“HS2 can be not only the catalyst to help rebalance the country, but the catalyst we need to transform how we deliver infrastructure,” the former Network Rail chief said this week.
“As a project that will help restructure our supply chain, build the technical and project skills we need and bring financing and approval processes up to date, it is an investment in a lower cost base and more efficient and productive industry in the future.
“Britain will not have the infrastructure it needs to sustain a competitive economy for the coming century if it holds back from making these changes now.”
He added: “As a 20-year project, we have no excuse not to become more streamlined in our approach and not to innovate.”
Higgins was speaking at the launch of project promoter HS2 Ltd’s HS2 Changing Britain report.