Construction on the HS2 link between London and Birmingham can now begin as the project cleared its final hurdle after successfully going through over three years of Parliamentary scrutiny to receive Royal Assent.
Work can now start as planned in the spring, with the project creating around 25,000 jobs during construction as well as 2,000 apprenticeships.
HS2 construction headquarters has already opened in Birmingham, employing around 1,300 people.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Getting the go-ahead to start building HS2 is a massive boost to the UK’s future economic prosperity and a further clear signal that Britain is open for business.
“HS2 will be the world’s most advanced passenger railway and the backbone of our rail network. Royal Assent is a major step towards significantly increasing capacity on our congested railways for both passengers and freight; improving connections between the biggest cities and regions; generating jobs, skills and economic growth and helping build an economy that works for all.
“By investing in infrastructure the government is seizing the opportunity provided by leaving the EU to build a more global Britain. We will now press ahead with constructing the railway while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect.”
The second phase of HS2 will connect Birmingham with the North West and Yorkshire via the East Midlands, and is due for completion in 2033.
David Higgins, Chairman of HS2 described the parliamentary milestone as a “monumental step” in revolutionising rail travel in Britain.
He said: “We have a long journey ahead of us to build the railway and secure permission for Phase Two to make sure that the full benefits of HS2 are realised.”
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