The firm that was to develop the £170m HS2 phase two route from Crewe to Manchester and the North has pulled out of the contract citing “protracted delays and ongoing speculation” on the matter.

The contract was awarded to the US-based company CH2M less than two months ago but since the decision was taken, has been the subject of controversy with one of the unsuccessful bidders reportedly raising concerns relating to a possible conflict of interest during the award process.

CH2M European managing director Mark Thurston was appointed as HS2’s new chief executive just two weeks after the contract award.

In a statement issued by the company its management said

“CH2M has demonstrated all appropriate measures taken throughout to ensure the integrity of the procurement process.

“Notwithstanding these efforts, we have taken the decision to alleviate any further delays to this critical national infrastructure project which could ultimately lead to increasing costs to UK taxpayers, as well as to our firm.

“CH2M’s reputation reflects excellence earned by placing the interests of our clients and communities first, best exemplified by our delivery of vital programmes like Crossrail, the London 2012 Olympics, the most sustainable to-date; HS2 Phase 1; and the Thames Tideway and Lee Tunnels.”



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