Richard Threlfall, KPMG's UK Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction comments on the HS2 phase 2 update by Executive Chairman David Higgins. Richard said:

"Future generations will look back on today and celebrate a vision that made the UK great again.

"HS2 is a critical investment to the rebalancing of our economic wealth. Today's announcement reconfirms the case for a high speed rail network that connects our major cities, and takes us a step closer to creating a Northern Powerhouse.

"Over the last 10 years, according to ONS data, the North's share of the UK's economic output has fallen by more than 5%. This trend will continue unless we invest to share our country's economic success beyond the South East.

Railway Track (PD)"HS2 phase 2 recognises the dismal state of links between the heart of the UK and its Northern cities today. The second phase, together with HS3 linking our northern city regions, should finally turn the tide and help the North regain its historic prominence in the UK economy.

"Local political and business leaders now need to come together and develop the connectivity that HS2 and HS3 offers into an overall vision for the development of the North.

"The objective is clear – a vibrant, successful and integrated northern economy that our children will be proud to inherit. Today's announcement brings us an important step closer to that."

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