HS2 have announced the signing of a new contract with Balfour Beatty as part of early environmental works on the next phase of the project. This will create new woodlands and wetlands on the route between West Midlands and Crewe (also known as Phase 2a).
New woodland the size of 86 football fields will be planted, as well as 220 new ponds, enough to fill 10 ½ Olympic swimming pools.
This £52 million contract commemorates the first stage in broadening the high-speed rail line from Birmingham and Crewe. It also follows Royal Assent for this stage of the line in February 2021.
Mark Bullock, chief executive officer of Balfour Beatty’s UK Construction Services stated, “We’re committed to leaving a lasting positive legacy for the communities in which we operate.”
The British engineering giant mentioned how this contract with HS2 builds on their ‘Building New Futures’ strategy.
He also went on to say, “Our work on the route between Crewe and the West Midlands will build a better, greener future for everyone – through our ongoing and essential work to protect the environment and our continued focus on providing employment opportunities for local businesses and people.”
Our work on the route between Crewe and the West Midlands will build a better, greener future for everyone
Supporting 200 jobs, the environmental works will take place at 82 sites running north from Fradley in Staffordshire.
Colette Carroll, HS2 Ltd.’s Phase 2 delivery director stated how they wanted to bring the benefits of HS2 to the north earlier than planned. She said, “This early environmental works contract with Balfour Beatty on the new route to Crewe will put that promise into action.”
Opening alongside the first section of the railway from Birmingham to London is the 36-mile stretch of Phase 2a from Birmingham to Crewe. It will provide seamless high-speed services between Crewe, the West Midlands and London, with a link to the mainline for direct services northwards.