HS2 rail project to receive approval from UK Government

11 February 2020 (Last Updated February 11th, 2020 12:11)

The UK Government is set to approve the high-speed rail link High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project that will connect London, Birmingham and Leeds.

HS2 rail project to receive approval from UK Government
Work underway on the site for the Birmingham terminus of the new HS2 railway line. Credit: Geof Sheppard via Flickr.

The UK Government is set to approve the high-speed rail link High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project that will connect London, Birmingham and Leeds.

British broadcaster BBC said that the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce the decision on 11 February.

The government expects HS2 to decrease transport times, create new jobs and rebalance the country’s economy.

However, the rail project has received backlash and criticism due to mismanagement and rising costs.

Expected to complete by 2040, HS2 is currently behind schedule and over the proposed budget.

The media expects approval for the entire HS2 line, as well as some changes to the Manchester-Leeds route of the project to reduce the costs.

Prime Minister Johnson will also announce other transport projects, along with the approval of HS2.

The government expects the other projects to appease critics who fear that HS2’s cost will side-line other projects.

Five years ago, the project estimated its costs to be £56bn. However, a recent review said that the cost of HS2 has become ‘out of control’ and could cost more than £100bn.

Last year, the project said that total cost has increased to around £88bn and will take an additional five years.

Ground preparation work for the first stage of the project has been underway for the past few years. Approval from the government will speed up the start of the construction.

The Birmingham-Crewe rail line will be included in the first stage of the rail project.

In June, Alstom and the joint venture between Hitachi and Bombardier unveiled their respective proposed train designs for HS2.