Irwin Mitchell Business Lawyer Concerned About The Latest Move
The head of Irwin Mitchell’s business division in Birmingham has criticised the news that the government has ordered a review into the scheme to build the £56bn HS2 rail link.
The first phase of the major infrastructure project will connect London to Birmingham and is due to open in 2026 with Manchester and Leeds extensions planned for 2033.
The review, announced today, will look at how much the link will cost as well as deliverability and scope.
The review is being led by the former Crossrail chairman Douglas Oakervee and the findings will be presented to the government in the autumn.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The Prime Minister has been clear that transport infrastructure has the potential to drive economic growth, redistribute opportunity and support towns and cities across the UK, but that investments must be subject to continuous assessment of their costs and benefits.”
Expert Opinion“Our regular UK Powerhouse reports reveal that economic growth in the Midlands continues to be outpaced by the South both in terms of output growth and job creation.
“Investment in our infrastructure is vital and the case for HS2 was proved years ago and it’s a key part of the government’s strategy for revitalising the regions. I can’t see how that business case has changed and I’m concerned that this review is not about whether it will benefit and support the Midlands Engine, but about affordability which seems a bit late in the day given the huge investment that has already been made in the project. To cancel the project at this stage would I think send a very negative message to the regions that stood to benefit from it.”
Chris Rawstron - Partner
The British Chambers of Commerce also still want the scheme to go ahead with Director General Adam Marshall saying: “There is a strong economic case for delivering all phases of HS2.
“For far too long businesses across the UK have had to cope with heavily congested Victorian-era railways – with passengers and freight traffic vying for priority.”
Irwin Mitchell's latest UK Powerhouse report can be downloaded from here