Boris Johnson has heralded the controversial HS2 rail link as an engine for jobs growth as construction finally begins.
Given the go-ahead on January 10, 2012, Europe’s largest infrastructure project will today move from enabling works to full construction – with shovels finally going in the ground.
The Prime Minister says it will create 22,000 jobs.
Boris Johnson has heralded the controversial HS2 rail link as an engine for jobs growth as construction finally begins
But many of his own MPs – especially those with constituencies on the route – are deeply against the expensive project.
Its cost has already spiralled from the projected £36billion in 2012 to an estimated £106billion now.
And its chief executive, Mark Thurston, takes home more than four times the Prime Minister with £659,416.
Last night Mr Thurston said: ‘The reality of high-speed journeys joining up Britain’s biggest cities in the North and Midlands and using that connectivity to help level up the country has just moved a step closer.’
Mr Johnson said: ‘HS2 is at the heart of our plans to build back better – and with construction now formally under way, it’s set to create around 22,000 new jobs.
‘As the spine of our country’s transport network, the project will be vital in boosting connectivity between our towns and cities.
‘But HS2’s transformational potential goes even further.
Given the go-ahead on January 10, 2012, Europe’s largest infrastructure project will today move from enabling works to full construction – with shovels finally going in the ground
‘By creating hundreds of apprenticeships and thousands of skilled jobs, HS2 will fire up economic growth and help to rebalance opportunity across this country for years to come.’
HS2 Ltd and its main contractors expect to recruit for around 22,000 roles in the coming years to build the phase one route.
These will include 7,000 jobs in the West Midlands, more than 4,000 building the section from the Long Itchsington Wood site in Warwickshire south to the Chilterns, and 10,000 in the Greater London area.
And HS2 Ltd itself is already directly recruiting for 500 roles over the next three months, with the majority based in Birmingham.