After 3,160 days … the digging of HS2 finally begins: Boris Johnson welcomes the controversial rail link as a driver of job growth as construction finally begins
- Europe's largest infrastructure project is being completely built today
- The cost rose from an estimated £ 36 billion in 2012 to an estimated £ 106 billion
- HS2 Ltd is expected to add around 22,000 jobs over the coming years
Boris Johnson has heralded the controversial HS2 rail link as the engine of job growth when construction finally begins.
With its launch on January 10, 2012, Europe's largest infrastructure project will move from allowing work to be built today – and the shovels will finally go into the ground.
The Prime Minister says it will create 22,000 jobs.
Boris Johnson has heralded the controversial HS2 rail link as the engine of job growth when construction finally begins
But many of his own MPs – especially those with constituencies on the line – are deeply against the expensive project.
The cost has already risen from a forecast of £ 36bn in 2012 to an estimated £ 106bn now.
And its executive director, Mark Thurston, takes home more than four times the prime minister's at £ 659,416.
Last night, Mr Thurston said, "The reality of high-speed travel connecting the UK's greatest cities in the north and the Midlands, and using that connectivity to improve the country, has just come a step closer."
Mr Johnson said, “HS2 is at the heart of our plans to rebuild better – and the formal start of construction is expected to create around 22,000 new jobs.
& # 39; As the backbone of our country's transportation network, the project will be vital in improving connectivity between our cities.
& # 39; But the transformation potential of HS2 goes even further.
With its launch on January 10, 2012, Europe's largest infrastructure project will move from allowing work to be built today – and the shovels will finally go into the ground
"By creating hundreds of apprenticeships and thousands of skilled jobs, HS2 will fuel economic growth and help rebalance opportunities in this country for years to come."
HS2 Ltd and its prime contractors expect to fill approximately 22,000 positions for the construction of the Phase 1 route over the coming years.
This includes 7,000 jobs in the West Midlands, more than 4,000 building the section from Long Itchsington Wood in Warwickshire in the south to the Chilterns and 10,000 in the greater London area.
And HS2 Ltd itself is already directly recruiting 500 positions over the next three months, with the majority based in Birmingham.