What will come of the new HS3 proposals?
With plans to build the High Speed 2 (HS2) railway between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds well advanced, news that the government has this week given its blessing to the development of HS3 is sure to have grabbed the attention of contractors up and down the UK.
Responding to a report submitted by HS2 Chairman Sir David Higgins, Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne both backed the idea of having a separate high-speed railway that provides quick links between major economic hubs in the North.
What’s it all about?
There’s been a lot of debate surrounding the quality of rail services in the North of England.
If it goes ahead, HS3 would cut journey times between Manchester and Leeds from 55 minutes to between 26 and 34 minutes, and more formal plans are expected to enter the public domain in 2015. Essentially, HS3 would build on the introduction of HS2 by improving accessibility to highly-populated Northern cities.
Earlier this year, Mr Osborne stated his intention to create a “Northern Powerhouse”, with more emphasis being placed on economic hubs such as Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds. On hearing of Sir David’s new report, the Chancellor commented: “I’m delighted with the rapid response and the report. Today we take another big step forward in delivering both the HS2 links from North to South and the HS3 link across the Pennines.
“On the back of new transport infrastructure, science investment and civic leadership we are well on our way to turning the Northern Powerhouse into reality.”
An exciting time for contractors
The HS3 revelations came to light less than a week after HS2 chiefs staged an event in Manchester to explain what will be required from contractors who are hoping to get involved in the building of HS2.
HS2 Chief Executive Simon Kirby confirmed that £10 billion worth of contracts would be up for grabs for the London to Birmingham stretch of the line alone, with up to 40,000 people being employed to deliver this section of the project during peak times. The bill to build and operate Phase One of HS2 is currently being put through Parliament, but invitations to tender (ITT) have long been sent out.
With the possibility of a new HS3 project in the pipeline, these are exciting times for engineers and construction companies. Of course, the demand for these lucrative contracts will be extremely high, so it’s vital that firms put together a strong bid.
From the PQQ, right the way through the bidding process, the only way to achieve tender success is to ensure your bid is flawless.
With offices in the North West and West Midlands, Thornton & Lowe will be right in the thick of things when it comes to the bidding process, with plenty of high-profile companies in these regions expected to compete for contracts. You don’t need us to tell you that one small error or a lack of clarity can see your bid consigned to the scrapheap, so if you’re not confident that you have the in-house expertise to tender for a piece of the HS2/HS3 pie, why not leave it to the experts?