Contracts for constructing the section of HS2 which passes through Warwickshire have been announced by the government today (Monday July 17).
The section of the high-speed line which bisect through Burton Green, and will carry on near to Cubbington, Offchurch and Southam, will be built jointly by construction firms Balfour Beatty and Vinci.
Work will start either in 2018 or 2019 depending on how long the design period takes.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is a hugely important step in the construction of Britain’s new railway and underlines this government’s determination to deliver an economy that works for all.
“HS2 will deliver vital links between some of our country’s biggest cities, helping to drive economic growth and productivity in the north and Midlands.
“We will now get on with building the railway, while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect.”
And Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty’s chief executive, said: “This is a generational engineering project. HS2 will provide vital infrastructure not only to rebalance the economy, but also to fuel growth in skills, jobs and prosperity across the UK for the future.
“Balfour Beatty’s joint venture with Vinci has world-class capability in this area and our selection as preferred bidder for two sections is a major endorsement of our strength.”
But Joe Rukin, the campaign manager of Stop HS2, said: “The case for HS2 has been invented by the very cheerleaders who intend to rake in billions of taxpayers’ money which is desperately needed elsewhere, so it really is time to ditch this gigantic white elephant before it is too late.”
And in response to Mr Grayling’s comment about treating communities with fairness, Mr Rukin added: “We’ll believe it when we see it. We’ve been treated with nothing but contempt.”
The total cost of the contracts across the length of the line is £6.6 billion, the government has said.
The line is expected to be completed by 2026.