The Government has given the go ahead for the HS2 rail project linking London to Birmingham and then Manchester and Leeds following an independent review led by former Crossrail chairman Douglas Oakervee amid concern over rising costs.
The first stage of the line, running from London Euston to Birmingham is expected to be completed by 2028, with stage two running to Manchester and Leeds due by 2040.
The news is likely to be welcomed by specialist contractors who have been emphasising the benefit the controversial infrastructure project would have on jobs and investment in the Midlands and north of England. The Oakvee review said the project costs could reach £106 billion.
While the Government said work is expected to start within weeks, a significant amount of enabling works have been underway for month.
The Prime Minister announced his decision to the House of Commons, saying the government believed it should proceed despite spiralling costs. The Government has committed to both the London to Birmingham line and the next phase from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, saying the project would be integrated with a Leeds to Manchester train line known as Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The Oakervee Review has indicated that HS2 Limited should take back more responsibility for risk and allow contractors to reduce package costs.