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HS2 decision is welcome – now it’s time to put some high speed into its construction

HS2 decision is welcome – now it’s time to put some high speed into its construction

Responding to the government’s announcement that HS2 will go ahead, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Mike Cherry, said:

"It is very welcome that at long last a clear decision has been made to proceed with HS2. The time for debate is over – let’s get the shovels out and put some high speed into the process of building it.

"This is a crucial infrastructure project which will bring economic benefits both during its construction, and in the capacity and productivity improvements it will create once it’s operational. It will allow for a greater number of both passenger and freight services, take lorries off congested roads, and help to improve connectivity across the Midlands and north of England.

"It is important that as tenders are drawn up for construction contracts that as many as possible are broken down to make them manageable for small businesses to bid for. This will increase competition, drive down costs, and protect taxpayers from the risk of putting too many eggs in one or two multi-national baskets.”

Other projects

On the announcement of other investment in transport infrastructure, Mike Cherry added:

"It is pleasing to see a focus on bus transport as well as rail. In many parts of the country buses are the only form of public transport, and investment will lead to more frequent and reliable services, making it easier for people to visit town centres and high streets.

"Plans for green transport modes such as more cycle lanes could also aid greater footfall on the high street. It will, of course, be important to make sure these works are carried out in the best way to minimise disruption to trade.

"Northern Powerhouse rail would bring a much-needed, faster and more reliable service across large parts of the north of England, which will be good for productivity, investment and the wider economy.

"The ambition to reopen some local rail lines to passengers opens the way not only to increasing connectivity, but also using the nature of smaller projects to prioritise smaller suppliers and contractors in the upgrade process."

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