The UK government has underwritten financing for a £680 million new high-speed electric railway… in Turkey.
As HS2 plans are scaled back and the Northern Powerhouse Rail project gets ditched, Westminster appears to have turned its attention to infrastructure projects in far-flung countries rather than investing in crucial connectivity in the north.
Financing provided by the UK export credit agency will help finish construction of the Mersin-Adana-Gaziantep High Speed Railway on behalf of the Turkish Ministry of Transport.
The deal is expected to create new export contract opportunities for the UK’s infrastructure, engineering and project management sectors, supporting the Prime Minister’s priority of growing the UK economy, the government claims.
But UK residents are unlikely to reap any of the rewards.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Erman Ilıcak, President of Rönesans Holding, said the upgrades will offer low-carbon travel for Turks that will “significantly enhancing the region’s industrial connectivity and trade”.
It is also expected to reduce traffic congestion on the motorways and save 157,000 tonnes in CO2e emissions in its first year alone by doing so.
Good for Turkey!