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The rail sector responds to the Queen's Speech given at the state opening of parliament on June 21, which outlined the government's policies and proposed legislative programme for the new parliamentary session.
[ol][center][li]Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association:
'We support today's announcement bringing forward further legislation on High Speed 2, which will deliver clear improvements and increase overall capacity for passengers and freight and which will see new rolling stock introduced and stations upgraded. However, we are concerned about the lack of commitment to Crossrail 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (or HS3) in the Queen’s Speech. Rail infrastructure needs to be improved throughout the whole of the UK and major schemes like these provide wider benefits not just to those parts of the country they serve but also to the national economy; and they are essential to helping Britain become Brexit-ready in the years to come.
'We urge the government to give a green light to both Crossrail 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail as infrastructure projects crucial to the future success of UK plc, and to do this quickly'
[/li][/center][center][li]Patrick Flaherty, Chief Executive, UK & Ireland, at AECOM: '
'Given the difficult circumstances the government faces following the recent election, there was a lot to welcome in today’s speech. We were especially pleased that the new modern industrial strategy played such a prominent role and agree with the government about the vital importance of infrastructure investment to the future of the nation’s prosperity.
'Commitments to HS2, electric cars and protecting critical infrastructure were all welcome. However, we would also like to have seen Crossrail 2 and the Heathrow expansion mentioned. It was good to see the government’s reiterated commitment to the importance of technical education'.
[/li][/center][center][li][color=#666666][font=Helvetica, Arial][size=2]Mark Elsey, infrastructure partner at law firm[/size][/font][/color] Ashurst:
'While the proposed bill for the next phase of HS2is welcome, the two year parliamentary term does not bode well for the immediate prospects of Crossrail 2. This may not be a surprise given the latter's absence from the Conservative manifesto and what appears a strong focus by the Conservatives on northern votes. Given the economic reality that continuing investment in London and the South East is required to protect the significant financial dividend that the rest of the UK enjoys, one would have hoped that the government realises that it is not a question of either scheme but both being required and that, post the election, it would be a clear priority for the government to deliver infrastructure that generates growth and prosperity for the benefit of voters in both the north and south of the country.'
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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