In response to the announcement that the Government is to scrap the eastern leg of HS2 to Leeds, Sue Kershaw, president of APM recently (18 November 2021) said:
We recognise that HS2 is a project that has its supporters and detractors, so major decisions around it will invite a diverse range of opinions. The planning has evolved over a decade, so with the changes we have experienced over that time it is not surprising that the final agreed scheme may differ from that originally envisaged. Following today's announcement that the eastern leg of HS2 has been cancelled in favour of upgrades to existing lines, we hope the government and other stakeholders will collaborate to ensure that the anticipated economic and societal benefits are still fully realised, and that the government's levelling up agenda is met.
Project professionals are interested in what works, but also what does not work in projects. As the chartered membership organisation for the project profession, we want HS2 and other projects to understand that requirements change over time and we must be acutely aware of the pace of change and the need to be agile in decision-making. HS2 is collaborating with industry to help disseminate such learning through the recently launched HS2 Learning Legacy, of which APM is an active partner. Whilst we acknowledge that some people will be disappointed at today's announcement, we encourage all involved with HS2 to take all practical steps to learn from the factors that have resulted in the decision to cancel the eastern leg and share their insight with the wider project community to increase its collective knowledge.
HS2 is a significant long-term project and, as such, must be measured on the economic and social benefits it produces over time.
The Government's Integrated Rail Plan is now available to view.