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HS2 names phase 2b development partner in string of contract awards

Plans to bring HS2 to Manchester and Leeds have made significant progress as contracts for a phase 2b development partner and engineering and environmental consultants were finally awarded.

HS2 Ltd confirmed that CH2M will become its phase 2b development partner, whilst teams from Arup, an AECOM/Capita/INECO joint venture and a Mott MacDonald/WSP joint venture will take over different lots across civils design and environmental services.

The companies, due to sign contracts on 20 February, will work together to provide expert engineering and environmental support to take forward the development of the route north of Crewe to Manchester.

The announcement comes after an 11-month competitive process where seven multi-national bidders were invited to tender for four packages of work.

HS2 Ltd managing director of development Alison Munro highlighted the importance of this milestone to the high-speed project as it progresses to its second stage.

“Our new partners bring a wealth of recent experience on some of the world’s most challenging and complex infrastructure projects and I look forward to working with them to ensure that HS2 can benefit from the experience and innovation they have to offer,” she said.

A hybrid bill, which will essentially act as planning permission for the route, is expected to be presented to Parliament in 2019.

Back in November, the government gave the green light to sections of the route between Crewe and Manchester and Birmingham and Leeds via Sheffield and East Midlands, subject to route refinements – which are currently under consultation.

Earlier this month, HS2 also made a big step forward after its dedicated Bill was passed through the House of Lords, with a bid to block the project being wholly rejected by the House.  

The government started its search for a company to design, build and maintain HS2’s high specification fleet at the beginning of the year, with this contract due to be awarded in 2019.

The £55.7bn project is scheduled to be opened in 2033 and reduce journey times whilst providing extra capacity and connectivity between the UK’s largest cities.

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Geordie   14/02/2017 at 15:29

About a year ago top civil servaant Jeremy Heywood was charged with looking into whether hs2 was actually value for money. He has done nothing, even though the report was due last summer. He seems to tweet about everything under the sun except hs2. Am I missing something, or has the "report" been dropped because its findings might be embarrassing to the Department of Transport?

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