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HS2 Review: What is happening?

HS2 Review: What is happening?

Published by Dan Gooding at 5:39am 15th October 2019. (Updated at 5:55am 15th October 2019)

The high-speed rail project which could be built through Buckinghamshire is being reviewed at the moment, but what is actually happening?

The government announced an 'independent and rigorous' review into HS2, but that didn't mean work stopped.

HS2 in Buckinghamshire

Back in August, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps published the terms of reference and timetable for an independent review into the High Speed 2 (HS2) project.

The terms of reference confirmed that the independently-led government review would look at whether and how HS2 should proceed, using all existing evidence on the project to consider:

  • its benefits and impacts
  • affordability and efficiency
  • deliverability and scope
  • its phasing, including its relationship with Northern Powerhouse Rail

A final report will be sent to the Secretary of State, with oversight from the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, by the autumn.

The report will inform the government’s decisions on next steps for the project.

Limited, largely preparatory works, on the project have continued in parallel with the report’s work.

But some work was halted, around ancient protected woodlands.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

"The Prime Minister has been clear that transport infrastructure has the potential to drive economic growth, redistribute opportunity and support towns and cities across the UK, but that investments must be subject to continuous assessment of their costs and benefits.

"That’s why we are undertaking this independent and rigorous review of HS2."

Douglas Oakervee, who has built up considerable knowledge on a wide range of major projects over the course of his 60 year career, is leading the review, working with Lord Berkeley as his deputy.

They are being supported by a panel of experts, bringing together a range of perspectives from business, academia and the transport sector to ensure an independent, thorough and objective assessment of the project.

Panellists will each be consulted on the report’s conclusions.

Douglas Oakervee said:

"The Prime Minister has asked me to lead this important review into the HS2 programme.

"I looking forward to working with my deputy, Lord Berkeley, to advise the government on how and whether to progress with HS2, based on all existing evidence."

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