Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

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Next steps for HS2 - progress and key challenges for delivery - route planning | delivery priorities and costs | cancellation of Phase 2 | environmental impact | community engagement | alignment with wider policy ambitions

December 2023

Price: £150 PLUS VAT

This conference examined key developments in the High Speed 2 rail project and priorities moving forward.

It was a timely opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss the latest thinking on Phase 1 development and the cancellation of Phase 2, including the future of land purchased for Phase 2 between Birmingham and Manchester and the impact on other rail projects in the North of England.

There was also discussion on the future of the Euston terminus, with the Government indicating that the line will not be extended to Euston without private investment.

Further sessions focused on the delivery of Phase 1 of the project, looking at costs and timetables, the project’s impact on communities and the natural environment, and its contribution to regional development and net zero targets.

We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with: Andrew Meaney, Partner, Head of Transport, Oxera Consulting; and Jonny Mood, Director of Value for Money, National Audit Office.

Overall, areas for discussion included:

  • progress:
    • assessing HS2 project delivery and outstanding issues - examining changes to routes and Euston development - cancellation of Phase 2 and changes to overall project objectives
    • the impact of delays and increasing costs - latest thinking on completion timelines for Phase 1 - priorities for moving Phase 1 forward
  • investment: assessing budgeting and spending requirements - options to mitigate inflationary increases and wider supply chain costs
  • habitats and wildlife:
    • strategies for reducing impact of construction on the environment and avoiding nature loss
    • aligning work more closely with biodiversity metrics and sustainable development goals
  • levelling up: opportunities for job creation - maximising positive impacts on regional development and connectivity - factoring in community engagement, consultations and feedback
  • development and expansion:
    • key issues for meeting delivery requirements - infrastructure and investment - supply chain and construction - supporting a skilled workforce
    • assessing changing plans, ownership and cutbacks to Euston terminus - priorities for sustainable construction in Old Oak Common
  • integration: establishing train speeds and frequency - HS2’s role within the wider rail network, future transport and smart transport systems - impact of Phase 2 cancellation on other rail projects in the North of England
  • policy coordination: priorities for aligning the HS2 programme with wider government ambitions, such as decarbonisation, levelling up, and boosting productivity and growth
  • community impact: assessing the effects of the route on local communities, including noise pollution and visual disturbance

The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from Defra; DfT; GLD; HMRC; House of Commons Library; NAO; ORR; Forestry Commission; UKIB; and the Welsh Government.

This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materials, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda