HS2 is a project that has the potential to transform the country and also the construction sector, but the industry must keep up the pressure to ensure it is delivered in a sustaibale way, says Andy Walker in his latest editor's comment.
At long last, the government has given the go-ahead to HS2 and the infrastructure sector is rightly rejoicing at the news. The project has the potential to transform the prospects of whole regions and the construction sector as firms queue up to do the required work. This is a good news story and not before time as the industry has had it tough of late.
As many in construction have pointed out though, the decision brings with it real responsibility on our industry to deliver this massive project on time and to budget. To say this will be a challenge is putting it mildly. But the industry now has a once-in-a generation opportunity to step up to the plate and promote its skills and ingenuity on a national stage. It must deliver.
Also being delivered by the government it seems are a range of other transport projects that have the potential to usher in a bonanza of work for the construction sector. At long last the government is recognising what the industry has been saying for years – investment in quality and sustainable infrastructure is a sure-fire way to reap economic and social benefit.
So, while we should rightly celebrate the green light for HS2, as an industry we also need to keep the pressure up to ensure that the infrastructure that is delivered is done in a way that is truly sustainable. If that means that it might cost a little bit more in the short-term to reap long-term rewards, then we should not shy away from arguing for that extra investment.
Andy Walker is the editor of Infrastructure Intelligence.