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18th February 2021


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Ainscough Crane Hire’s commercial director Derek Gow has joined forces with fellow industry leaders to encourage the Government to build HS2 in full.

A report in December by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) said that the Government should prioritise regional connections, including upgrading links between Leeds, Manchester, and Sheffield and in the East Midlands, rather than completing the promised high-speed rail network link to London.

The open letter was signed by 100 representatives of private sector companies, trade bodies, transport groups, educational establishments, and cultural organisations from across the North and Midlands. In it, the Government was urged that should work on the Eastern leg of HS2, which would link Leeds to London via Birmingham, be postponed or cancelled, it would negatively impact the Government’s levelling up policy and the future economic prosperity of the country as a whole.

Among the signatories joining Derek Gow in signing the letter were representatives of Mace, Drax, Bruntwood, the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Manchester Airports Group, Siemens, Associated British Ports, and Nuclear AMRC.

Derek commented: “HS2 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide the connectivity needed for a fairer and more prosperous economy for the whole country. While we fully appreciate the Government investment required to complete HS2 in full is significant, the benefits recouped through the employment and training opportunities it would create – among many other economic rewards – would be substantial. It was encouraging last week to see phase 2a of HS2 to Crewe be granted Royal Assent by MPs, but for the full benefits of this project to be realised it’s crucial it be delivered in full.

“So it was also very welcome to hear the Prime Minister commit to the Eastern leg during PMQs. However, we fully appreciate there is still a long way to go until the first spade is in the ground on the last stage of the project. My fellow signatories and I, therefore, remain committed to working with each other and with the Government to ensure the whole of HS2 can be delivered in a way befitting such a momentous infrastructure project.”

The letter can be read in full here.

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