According to Sir David Higgins, the recently-appointed chairman of HS2, the journeys of people travelling into London will not be affected by the construction of the UK’s new high-speed rail network.
With a scheduled completion date in 2026, the first phase of HS2 will result in the opening of an efficient link between London and the UK’s second-largest city, Birmingham. Routes linking the capital to Manchester and Leeds will then be introduced in the future, bbc.co.uk reports.
It is hoped that by making the capital and its attractions more accessible to people across the country, the system will provide a significant boost to the UK economy.
Responding to claims that the £50 billion scheme will cause problems for those who use the current rail system to get to London, Sir David said: “It’s not a case of ‘We’re going to build HS2 so the existing network will suffer’.
“There will be around the same amount of money spent every year on the existing network as will be spent on HS2 during this 20-year period. The most important thing is integrating those plans.”
The rising cost of the new network has also been criticised, although Sir David explained that his first tasks as the project’s chairman would be to bring costs down where feasible.
According to buyingbusinesstravel.com, he also vowed to work on speeding up the development process to ensure cities north of the capital can benefit from easier access as soon as possible.