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Press release

ICE comment on HS2 cancellation

04 October 2023

In response to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's announcement that the Birmingham-Manchester portion of HS2 will be cancelled, Chris Richards, ICE director of policy, said:

"The lesson from today’s announcement on HS2 is the UK must change how it approaches planning and delivering infrastructure.

"The stop/start approach the country takes to major infrastructure benefits no one. We need long-term plans, supported by evidence, long-term thinking on financing options, and robust and consistent policy to achieve desired outcomes.

"The Prime Minister outlined several projects and schemes in his speech. Many of these projects aren’t new, and many have been previously caught in this stop/start cycle of decision-making, which drives up costs. This is likely to happen again.

"Changing direction and switching projects delays businesses and communities from benefitting from infrastructure investment. These positive outcomes are how we should be measuring success, not just by lowest cost to deliver.

"The National Infrastructure Commission will publish its second National Infrastructure Assessment in a few weeks. Before politicians rush off to make the same mistakes again on infrastructure, they should pause, look at the commission's advice and use this as a long-term plan to prioritise investment and rebuild credibility."

Notes to editors

Please contact Maggie Eckel [email protected] for more information.

  • Maggie Eckel, media relations manager at ICE