Firms tell Whitehall to prioritise HS2 Scotland link

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A coalition has called on the government to examine how best to connect HS2 to Scotland.

The High Speed Rail Group, whose members include Costain, Bouygues Construction, Laing O’Rourke and Atkins, have made a submission to the Treasury’s comprehensive spending review outlining the benefits of links between the northern points of HS2 and Scotland.

The organisation, formerly known as the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders group, said that the connections would boost the economies of the north of England and Scotland and help achieve net-zero carbon targets by reducing short-haul flights.

It has called for funding of £4.5m-£6m to assess how plans for the connection can be delivered as a “national priority”.

A High Speed Rail Group spokesperson said: “In time, a new high-speed rail network, fully integrated into an enhanced national rail network, should connect all the regions, major cities, and nations of the UK to help bring the country back together – bringing with it significant economic and environmental benefits.

“As such, the government must consider this an essential programme of work as we seek to build back better in the COVID-19 recovery.”

The comprehensive spending review closed for submissions last week, with the Treasury’s programme set to be announced in the coming weeks.

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