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Industry body predicts HS2 project will not start until 2020

An industry body has predicted that work on HS2 will not start until 2020.

The Construction Products Association (CPA) says it believes the government’s predicted start date for the high speed rail line – which will cut through parts of Lichfield – will be delayed by at least two years.

An artist's impression of HS2

An artist’s impression of HS2

The CPA’s economics director Dr Noble Francis said: “Due to concerns regarding planning and financing, we do not anticipate main works starting on HS2 before 2020.”

Any delays would come as “no surprise”, according to campaigners.

Joe Rukin, from Stop HS2, said: “As the current schedule for HS2 construction is already two years behind the original timetable, adding another two or three years would be no surprise to us.

“There have been concerns since the start that HS2 would be late and over budget, but despite the fact it is already late and over budget, HS2 Ltd always dismiss anyone who criticises their competence, no matter how expert and impartial they are.

“The thing is, it always turns out those impartial experts were right and HS2 Ltd were wrong.”

But HS2 Ltd say the project will not slip off the rails.

A spokesman added: “We remain confident that the main construction of HS2 will start in 2017, with civils work to begin in 2018.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.