Commenting on the granting of Royal Assent to the legislation for the first phase of HS2, Jane Gratton, Infrastructure Fellow at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Business communities will be glad to see the bill pass its final obstacle in parliament at long last, but want construction on the line to begin without delay.

“HS2 will provide much-needed additional capacity for the UK’s rail network, freeing up space for more local and intercity train services, and better east-west connectivity. This is crucial for supporting trade, exporting, tourism and business investment. It will also make it easier to connect businesses with suppliers, consumers and skilled workers.

“The new route must be properly integrated with the local transport networks, with more investment in local roads and public transport, to ensure that all towns and cities really see the benefits.

“The HS2 project is intended to boost the infrastructure capacity of the UK as a whole, so it’s vitally important that we see action on the other phases as soon as possible.”