Apprentice Meets Minister at Launch of HS2 Northern Route


My name is Adam Gibbons, I am 17 years old and I started at Curtins in September 2016 as an Apprentice Transport Planning Technician, after leaving school in June 2016. The trailblazer course is the first of its kind, and will provide me with an apprenticeship which is of much higher quality and relevance than the more traditional apprenticeship scheme. At the end of the programme I will have gained a BTEC and will be ready to obtain Engineering Technician (EngTech) status with the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation. Further onward I will look to gain higher qualifications and aim for career progression with Curtins whilst learning, working, and earning.

As part of my course I went to Leeds Station to meet the Minister of Transport and take part in photo-opportunity and press and radio interviews as part of the HS2 Phase 2 station and route announcement.  Transport Minister Andrew Jones, who is the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, as well being the MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, was very forthcoming and seemed extremely interested in the trailblazer programme I am part of. He spoke to me about the opportunities HS2 would present and explained how high speed services will run between Sheffield, Leeds, and other northern cities. We spoke about the brand-new platforms that will come to Leeds Station because of HS2. We also focused on how Leeds will benefit from the scheme in ways like more tourists will visit, which will have a positive effect on the economy, and create new jobs.

I think that HS2 is an outstanding concept and believe that far more positive than negatives will come from the scheme. The main positive is reduced travel times, for example Leeds to Birmingham will be reduced from 1 hour 58 minutes to just 57 minutes. It will also better connect people of the North to the capital, as well as all major cities, which can only be positive for the sustainability and growth of Britain. Of course, there will be negative impacts for those living on the route alignment but on balance these dis-benefits can be carefully mitigated to ensure the best solution is reached.

Personally, I am looking forward to seeing the scheme develop and progress. Also, as it is not due to be completed for another 16 years, I hope to work on or contribute towards it and projects related with it. It would be amazing to be part of the first English railway line built outside of London since the reign of Queen Victoria, and I truly believe it could not have come at a better time.