1. ITV Report

HS2 draws nearer as contracts awarded

HS2 project draws nearer Photo: HS2

HS2, the high speed rail line through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, came a step nearer today after major contracts for preparatory work on the project were awarded.

The £32 billion scheme for a new fast line between London and Birmingham will run near to Wendover, Aylesbury, Bicester and Banbury.

Many local people say the line has no economic case and will destroy precious countryside. HS2 today said the awarding of contracts to four final companies to carry out advance work meant the scheme was still on track to go before MP's for approval next year.

The High Speed 2 project has proved controversial Credit: ITV Meridian

The successful companies will arrange access to land for ecological, environmental and engineering surveys, working closely with HS2 Ltd’s land and property team, environment specialists and engineers.

They will also prepare a schedule of all owners and occupiers of land affected by the scheme, known as a Book of Reference. This forms one of the hybrid bill documents that are due to be submitted to Parliament by the end of 2013.

“Our Professional Services Contracts have now been awarded and we are fully on track to deliver the designs and documents required for the hybrid bill, which is planned to start its process through Parliament at the end of 2013.

“The Professional Services Contractors will work closely with HS2 Ltd’s engineers, environment specialists and property team to carry out the essential work for the hybrid bill preparation for Phase 1 of the route from London to the West Midlands.

“We now have a very strong team with the specialist knowledge and expertise these companies bring to the project and work is well underway.”

– Alison Munro, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd