The recent decision to cancel the northern leg of the HS2 railway project has raised numerous questions regarding the properties and contracts associated with the project. The government’s announcement that the Birmingham to Manchester section, officially known as phase two, would be abandoned has left the fate of nearly 1,000 acquired properties and contracts worth up to £1.1bn in limbo.
HS2 Ltd, the government subsidiary overseeing the project, had already invested significant sums in purchasing land and conducting design and preparatory works. The government has reported spending £2.3bn on phase two, including property acquisitions.
Previously, homeowners along the proposed route had the option to either voluntarily sell their properties or have them forcibly purchased. HS2 Ltd had acquired a total of 954 properties, including 185 for the stretch between Crewe and Manchester, and another 530 for the stretch between Birmingham and Leeds. Among the notable sales was a mansion owned by comedian John Bishop, which was sold for £6.8m in 2019.
With the cancellation of the northern leg, the government has announced its intention to sell the properties that are no longer required. However, some of the land acquired near Manchester and Leeds may still be needed for other rail schemes, creating further complexity in determining the future of these properties.
Additionally, over £1bn worth of contracts related to the development of phase two have been awarded, and their status is now uncertain. Notable deals include a project management contract awarded to Bechtel and a professional services contract shared among companies such as Mott MacDonald, WSP Aecom, Ineco, and Arup.
The cancellation of the project raises concerns for the companies involved in these contracts, as their involvement and the future of their work remain unclear. HS2 Ltd will engage with its supply chain to assess the impact of the cancellation before providing updates to Parliament.
Overall, the decision to cancel the northern leg of the HS2 project not only throws the properties acquired for the project into question but also casts uncertainty on the future of the awarded contracts. The government and HS2 Ltd will need to navigate these challenges in the coming months.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What is HS2?
- Why was the northern leg of HS2 cancelled?
- What will happen to the properties acquired for HS2?
- What will happen to the awarded contracts for phase two of HS2?
HS2 (High-Speed 2) is a planned high-speed railway project in the United Kingdom that aims to connect London with major cities in the Midlands and the North of England.
The cancellation of the northern leg was decided by the government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The reasons for the cancellation have not been explicitly stated, but factors such as rising costs and environmental concerns have been mentioned.
The government intends to sell the properties that are no longer needed for HS2. However, some acquired land near Manchester and Leeds may still be required for other rail projects.
The cancellation of the northern leg raises uncertainty regarding the future of the awarded contracts. HS2 Ltd will work with its supply chain to assess the impact and provide updates to Parliament.