Steel industry is on track for contracts

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 6 Mar 2017

THE Department for Transport has said it is "in discussions" with British suppliers to give them the best chance to gain the steel contracts for the HS2 project.

The news comes as the bill which paves the way for the High Speed Rail project to begin construction has been given the royal assent.

Parliament completed three years of scrutiny on the High Speed Rail bill and phase one has now been passed by the House of Commons.

Construction for the project will now begin in the spring and the Telegraph has campaigned for the steel used in the development of the first phase of the HS2 route to be made by the Scunthorpe steelworks.

Speaking after the legislation was passed, Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said it was good to finally get the project off the ground.

He said: "Getting the go-ahead to start building HS2 is a massive boost to the UK's future economic prosperity and a further clear signal that Britain is open for business.

"HS2 will be the world's most advanced passenger railway and the backbone of our rail network.

"Royal Assent is a major step towards significantly increasing capacity on our congested railways for both passengers and freight; improving connections between the biggest cities and regions; generating jobs, skills and economic growth and helping build an economy that works for all.

MORE: Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at Forest Pines

"By investing in infrastructure the government is seizing the opportunity provided by leaving the EU to build a more global Britain.

"We will now press ahead with constructing the railway while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect."

When asked about the process of steel procurement for the project, the Department for Transport said it encourages bids from British companies.

A spokesperson said: "We positively encourage bids from British companies to build HS2 and are already holding discussions with UK suppliers to make sure they are in the best possible position to win contracts for the steel that will be needed.

"The Government has put rules in place for all departments to ensure we can buy the right quality steel, produced under the right conditions and this will be of benefit to UK suppliers.

"The vast majority of steel used on our railways is British and we don't envisage that changing."

Writing to the Telegraph in response to our campaign, residents have said that the steelworks is the "beating heart" of the town and that the contract should be given to the works.

Keep the pressure on the Department for Transport to hand the contract to the steelworks by signing our petition and joining the campaign.

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