Commenting on the news that the budget for HS2 has now been finalised, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, said:
"This is welcome news and provides a timely boost to the engineering industry which can now begin planning, developing its workforce, and allocating resources to the project with an additional sense of certainty. This is a hugely important project that will provide the regeneration opportunities, new job prospects, access to new markets, and extra rail capacity that will be of enormous benefit to the Northern Powerhouse, and the rest of the UK.
"Inflationary changes are undoubtedly at the heart of the rise in cost that we have seen, and it will now be on the government and industry to engage effectively so that the project is brought in within the budget envelope and on time. Recent experiences on projects like Crossrail and the Olympics demonstrate that the UK can achieve results on schemes of this scale, and by beginning the cross-supply chain collaboration process early we can ensure the right lessons are learnt."