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HS2 bill to be delayed a year

Hs2

Legislation to build High Speed 2 (HS2) is set to be delayed by a year.

The Department for Transport has confirmed that it is pushing back the bill needed to begin work on the second section of the network between Manchester and Leeds.

The bill enabling the works for Phase 2b between Manchester and Leeds will now be tabled in 2020. However, the government insists that this will have no bearing on the final completion date.

The Department for Transport confirmed that the bill was being paused to take account of Northern Powerhouse Rail linking Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle.

A spokesperson for the DfT said: “In order to maximise the huge potential of HS2, it is important to make sure it takes full account of the emerging vision for the other transformative project of Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“Phase 2b of the railway will connect the great cities of the North to boost jobs, housing and economic growth, and remains on track to open in 2033.

“We will update Parliament as part of our consultation this autumn.”

HS2 has faced a number of setbacks in recent months. Last month Spanish manufacturer Talgo begun legal action after what it claims was a “botched procurement” process in relation to rolling stock suppliers.

It was also revealed that one in four HS2 workers pocket wages over £100,000, despite stories of significant cost overruns.

In June this year, it was revealed by New Civil Engineer that the initial cost estimates for the main civils works packages were coming in around £1bn over budget, meaning the notice to proceed – the notice to start construction – had been pushed back by eight months to allow the contractors to cut costs on the project.

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