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19.03.10

High speed plans good news for rail jobs, say engineering experts

The announcement of the government’s plans to build a high speed rail network through Britain is crucial to creating engineering roles for many years to come, according to many within the engineering community.

Rosemary Beales, National director at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association told New Civil Engineer: “This is a very welcome step forward towards the creation of a 21st century rail network for the UK. It will stimulate economic growth and employment whilst reducing carbon emissions from short haul flights.”

Other engineering experts were quick to point out the other positive aspects of the high speed rail plans, with ICE Director General, Tom Foulkes, commenting: “The commitment outlined today is a positive step - High Speed Rail has huge economic and environmental potential and could also free up capacity on a network that is already stretched. However, High Speed Rail must be part of a wider, integrated transport plan that offers people real choice and reduces car dependency.

“High Speed Rail will also need a secure, predictable source of funding and ICE will continue to push for a National Infrastructure Investment Bank or similar funding mechanism, to ensure vital infrastructure projects like this are built without putting strain on the public purse or compromising other projects.

“Such an ambitious project demands the very strongest commitment, both politically and financially. Political wrangling must be avoided and cross party consensus achieved to give the public more confidence and speed up delivery. ICE is keen to help facilitate this consensus.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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