HS2 costs could spiral to ?106bn - report

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Monday 20 Jan 2020

HS2 costs could spiral to ?106bn - report

(Sharecast News) - The cost of Britain's controversial HS2 high-speed rail link could soar by a fifth to £106bn, according to an unpublished government review.
It warned of a "considerable risk" that the project price could blowout from the most recent estimate of £81bn - £88bn.

The review led by Doug Oakervee, a former chairman of HS2, recommended that work on the West Midlands to Manchester and Leeds link be paused for six months to see if it could comprise a mix of conventional and high speed lines, the Financial Times reported, citing the document.

Ministers should push ahead with HS2, but further work was needed to assess what impact on growth the project would have in the regions as any economic benefits were hard to define.

"Transport investment alone will not 'rebalance' the UK economy," the report said.

The first leg of the project, from London's Euston station to Birmingham, was due to open by the end of 2026 but could be pushed back until 2031. The second phase, linking Leeds and Manchester, had been forecast to open in 2032-33, but the unpublished review claims this will open seven years late.


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