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Over 14,000 jobs ‘would be lost if HS2 is cancelled’

The HS2 contracts already let or tendered have already created 14,440 jobs, new analysis shows.

A new report from High Speed Rail Industry Leaders said the analysis, carried out by Albion Economics, provides “an estimate of the number of HS2 jobs that are already a subject of issued tenders—that is to say jobs that would be lost if the project was now to be cancelled”.

Of these 14,440 jobs, 85% are created by civil contracts, 8% by design and professional services and 7% by enabling works.

The report also found that HS2 could create 26,650 jobs by its peak in 2017-20, as well as 2,000 new apprenticeships.

HS2 currently has seven civil engineering contracts, worth £12bn, out to tender, with companies involved in the process including Balfour Beatty, Skanska and Laing O’Rourke.

The HS2 Bill is currently going through the House of Lords and is due to gain Royal Assent by the end of the year.

However, Sir Amyas Morse, the head of the National Audit Office, recently warned that the project might be harder to deliver if there is an economic downturn following June’s EU referendum.

A recent report from the Public Accounts Committee warned that it still needs to clarify when phase 1 will open and how much phase 2 will cost.

(Image c. Rui Vieira from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

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Nickthetrainshed   19/09/2016 at 17:42

Albion Economics is hardly independent-it's one of the GreenGauge21 guys working at home! What a joke. A research piece paid or by the tax payer to make the case for a project the taxpayer is funding, with the research carried out by one of the original lobbyists for the project! You couldn't make it up.

FB   19/09/2016 at 23:24

This is ridiculous. As the project has not yet been approved, the construction jobs do not presently exist - they may be potential jobs but are not yet confirmed and are therefore not lost. Design jobs could have been of relatively short duration to test the feasibility of the project. The real jobs that this project may or may not generate are for those who may work in the industries that will use the new line. However, I have not heard of any major businesses planning to open new premises at either end of the line to provide the quantity of passengers who must race up and down this line at high speed every day to justify its construction. That is not to say that extra capacity is not required but I suggest this could be achieved in less disruptive and less expensive ways by enhancing our existing railway system where it has been severely cut back over the years. Several contributors have suggested such alternatives and I believe the Govt. would be wise to consider how these could be implemented.

Nicholas Newman   19/09/2016 at 23:53

What we learnt from enhancing the West Coast Main Line (WCML), was the huge costs involved, delays and distruption to services. After all in order to provide the same capacity as HS2, on the existing WCML, many more houses, shops, gardens etc would have to be demolished and bridges rebuilt.It is much simpler and cheaper to build from scratch a new high speed rail line like HS2.

Peter   20/09/2016 at 12:43

I told my wife that unless I buy a new Lamborghini there may be less work for the people who might build it, she didn't believe me !

Graham Nalty   20/09/2016 at 15:05

14,000 jobs is a very small increase in productivity for an investment of up to £50 billion. To create one job would require a spend of ££3.5 million. Would it not be better to invest the money in the thousands of small businesses that are creating wealth for Britain by exporting their goods and services. Or would it simply be better, and we know this would create more jobs, to design HS2 so that it served the city centre stations at Sheffield, Stoke and Derby rather their respective parkways - and with through stations in London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. And how about using high speed rail to get from the Midlands and North to Europe via the channel tunnel or directly to the terminal of our hub airports including Heathrow. That is what high speed rail does well. And how about making HS2 much less London-centric with better connections between cities other than London. Most cities already have fast services to London, but quite slow to other cities.

Stop White Elephant   20/09/2016 at 19:32

Well that's not bad value for money. It works out at only just over £2 million per worker that the tax payer i.e. you & me will be paying them. What a crazy waste of money when the NHS is in dire need of finances.

FB   20/09/2016 at 23:57

Nicholas, I was not advocating increasing capacity on the WCML but diverting traffic away from it back to reopened routes, thus relieving the pressure on it. A significant amount of current traffic is the 3 trains/hr from and to Manchester. Surely some of these services could revert to reopened GC and MR routes as well as some of the Birmingham services back to the GW line? Much of the old alignments still exist.

Chris M   21/09/2016 at 04:05

FB, there are NO abandoned mainline routes heading north from London to re-open. The Midland Railway route is still open and very busy (MML to Leicester, Derby, Nottingham etc.). So is the Great Western. The Great Central was a very late entrant to the capital - it never had it's own tracks out of London. Rather than building it's own the Great Central shared tracks with the Metropolitan Railway and/or the Great Western Railway until trains were 40 miles north of London. Those tracks I am afraid are now incredibly busy (Met Line & Chiltern Railways) and have no capacity for additional 'Inter-City' trains. The Great Central is a pipe-dream for those people who did not pay attention to what was actually built. Nor do they realise how the trackbed through Rugby, Leicester and Nottingham has been decimated since closure, with almost every major bridge removed and construction on the trackbed. Face facts, it will never re-open and even if it were still intact today it would be of little practical use. Listen to Nicholas Newman, he is stating the consensus view in the rail industry that the last WCML 'upgrade' was a financial disaster that dragged on for years. It is a fact that building new tracks on greenfield sites will be quicker, much less disruptive to existing passengers and far more cost-efficient. And as a bonus HS2 will hugely increase the number of trains and seats that can be provided. The UK has wasted many decades tinkering with ancient infrastructure, a modern rail system is needed right now.

David   21/09/2016 at 11:13

For goodness sake, the 14,000 jobs statistic is only the ones directly involved with HS2 construction and operation. Network Rail HAS considered the alternatives (there's several reports out there on the internet) and none of them bring anything like the same benefits for the cost, and not to mention the disruption to existing workflows. Look up the law of diminishing returns.

FB   21/09/2016 at 12:36

Correction. The MR main line to Manchester remains severed by about 12 miles or so in the Peak District. Even the longer journey via Dore is not used for Manchester - London trains. Why cannot this route relieve the WCML of some of its 3 trains/hr? This would also re-instate direct connections to Derby, Leicester, etc.

David   21/09/2016 at 18:14

FB, the MML is becoming increasingly busy also, whilst the Midland side of St Pancras (under the new trainshed) is not really suitable for services extending beyond Sheffield.

FB   21/09/2016 at 21:59

Well David, the St Pancras platforms seem suitable for the HS diesel trains running from Sheffield and I would suggest that some of these could divert to Stockport/Manchester before they get to Sheffield. Regardless of the fortunes of HS2, I believe this link needs restoring to complete a once most useful route now only possible by going into Sheffield changing and out again - obviously taking longer but a more attractive line. Journeys from Manchester to Derby would be greatly improved too.

David   21/09/2016 at 23:16

Manchester is at least an hour away from Sheffield on the Hope Valley line so I have no idea how you came to that conclusion.

Chris M   22/09/2016 at 00:13

FB, yet again you need to look in close detail at the existing railway and understand how it works before throwing out more suggestions. There are only four terminating platforms at St Pancras for the Midland mainline trains. Currently the four platforms receive five arrivals and five departures every hour. When the Corby line is electrified in 2019 this will increase to six trains each way every hour, which is the practical limit for long-distance trains into those four platforms. And remember that the tracks out of St Pancras also have up to eight 100mph Thameslink trains an hour sharing the fast lines as far as Bedford. It is almost full up now and has to wait until 2033 before it is going to be relieved by HS2. Please understand that there are NO easy options left to create a big wedge of capacity on our mainlines to the north. There is some scope to lengthen certain trains on the Midland and Chiltern mainlines, and new IEPs on the East Coast line will also boost seating by up to 20%. But that in truth will only give about 5 years breathing space if rush hour passenger numbers keep growing as they have done for the last twenty years. There is very little that can be done now to create extra capacity from Euston without spending a fortune and causing years of more disruption. A completely new railway line is the only sensible solution. When HS2 is operational then there will be scope to re-open the Peak line from Matlock to the outskirts of Buxton. Right now there is no room at St Pancras for these services and talk of slashing frequencies to Sheffield will do no-one any favours. Plus the journey time would be at least 40 minutes longer to Manchester via Buxton than today's trains from Euston so who would use it for the full-length journey?

Lutz   27/09/2016 at 23:08

The latest cost estimate that is floating around even exceeds my original estimate of GBP 75M. As things stand, either part of the project gets mothballed, or other infrastructure projects will get put back by a decade or more.

Lutz   27/09/2016 at 23:11

Sorry; that should read GBP 75B

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