HS2 moves to its second choice for second phase’s £170m deal

HS2 has selected its preferred replacement for consultant CH2M, which pulled out of a £170m deal to develop Phase 2b of the high speed rail network.

That deal was clouded in controversy because of the closeness of the relationships between the two firms, which included Mark Thurston moving from CH2M to become HS2’s chief executive.

HS2 has moved quickly to reach agreement with Bechtel, which came second in the original procurement process.

The third-placed company, Mace, had previously threatened legal action about the awarding of the contract to CH2M.

An HS2 spokesman said: “HS2 Ltd can confirm that Bechtel are being taken forward to the next stage of the 2b Development Partner procurement process.

“The bidder now enters the standstill period allowed for under the process prior to contract award.

“Following discussions, we are confident they are able and prepared to deliver the contract on time, on budget and to a high standard.”

Phase 2b covers the lines between Crewe-Manchester and Birmingham-Leeds.

Phase 1, London-Birmingham, received Royal Assent earlier this year, while Phase 2a will extend the line from Birmingham to Crewe.

Click here for a comprehensive list of West Midlands deals >