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Stopping HS2 'would lead to loss of 27,000 jobs'

Stopping HS2 'would lead to loss of 27,000 jobs'

The first phase of HS2 will have created nearly 27,000 jobs by the end of this decade, mainly in construction, a new report has said.

A report by High Speed Rail Industry Leaders revealed the peak period of activity between 2017 and 2020 will provide 26,500 jobs, of which 56 per cent will be in construction. Other major areas of employment will be in design, construction management, non-operational and managerial roles.

Indeed, 14,400 jobs have already been committed to the project, of which 85 per cent are in civil engineering. In addition, the report notes the first phase will create between 5,000 and 9,000 apprenticeships.

These figures only relate to the first phase, meaning many thousands more jobs in construction and other sectors are set to arise from the second phase, which will take the line northwards in two spurs, one via Crewe to Manchester and another between Nottingham and Derby to Sheffield and Leeds.

A U-turn by the government seems unlikely, as it has been clear in its support for HS2 and the vast majority of MPs have voted for HS2 bills in the past. The only parties opposed to it are the SNP - due to the line only being in England and currently not planned to continue into Scotland - plus the Greens and UKIP, who only have one MP each.

The jobs tally also does not include other investment in the vicinities of the new stations that will be created by the project, which will generate both construction jobs in the short term and more employment in the wider economy thereafter.

Earlier this month, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Birmingham City Council announced plans for a £1 billion investment in the Eastside district on the edge of the city centre, where the new Curzon Street HS2 station will be based.

This will lead to the construction of 4,000 new homes and 6.5 million sq ft of commercial space, generating 36,000 new jobs and boosting the economy by £1.4 billion.

Image: DfT


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