Construction set to begin on HS2 this year after royal approval

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Work on HS2 is all set to start following the formal seal of approval from the Queen, which was given today (Thursday February 23).

The HS2 Hybrid Bill has now officially become an Act of Parliament after it was given Royal Assent - a formal act of approval from the monarch which is never refused.

HS2 Ltd now intends to carry out early works this year ahead of the main contractors starting on site from 2018 onwards.

The early works include site investigations, enabling works, demolition and land preparation, and new wildlife habitat creations.

Cllr Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for HS2, said: “The Royal Assent for the HS2 Bill concludes almost three-and-a-half years lobbying Parliament for improvements to the scheme.

“During this time we have fought on behalf of our affected communities to secure a better outcome for them.

“This work has included securing a new primary school for Water Orton in North Warwickshire, a cycle bridge at Offchurch and limits on peak construction traffic. There have been many more positives in terms of better mitigation and outcomes for Warwickshire residents.

“Now we have to contend with the reality of the protracted construction period, which will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the county, and ensuring that we keep Warwickshire moving so that people can get on with their daily lives despite the disruption.”

HS2 is likely to have a serious impact in Warwickshire, especially places like Burton Green, Cubbington, and Offchurch.

Construction traffic associated with the line will impact the county’s roads across a wider area.

Cllr Brian Moss, Labour Group spokesman on HS2, added: “Now that the Government has the legislation for HS2 there is no doubt that we have to accept that the railway will be built.

“There are many detailed elements of the scheme that will be developed during the design stages and we anticipate these will be made public next year.”

Cllr John Whitehouse, HS2 lead member for the Liberal Democrats, said: “The council will continue to support our residents, particularly those who are vulnerable and most affected, and work with HS2 Ltd to minimise the disruption to the county during the construction phase.”