Avicii / Aloe Blacc: Wake Me UpiTunesAmazon

Mix96 News

£106bn cost of HS2: Leaked report's warnings

The Financial Times has seen the review into the high-speed rail project.

Published by Dan Gooding at 8:16am 20th January 2020. (Updated at 8:19am 20th January 2020) 3-minute read.

£106bn cost of HS2: Leaked report's warnings

The cost of HS2 could hit £106bn, according to a leaked report.

The high-speed line could cut through Buckinghamshire if it is built, but an independent review has been assessing the projects viability.

Now a version of the report, seen by The Financial Times, shows the spiralling cost of HS2.

More HS2 stories

The report says, according to FT, that there is a 'considerable risk that the scheme's cost could go up by as much as 20%.

It adds that it is hard to say what economic benefits it could bring.

HS2 Stand for the Trees in Denham
Protesters have been fighting HS2 in Buckinghamshire

However, it says that with £8bn already spent, the government should not scrap HS2, but proceed with some amendments.

Those include:

  • Pausing work on Phase 2b - from the West Midlands to Manchester  and Leeds - for six months to see if it can be a mix of high-speed & regular lines
  • Assessing the scheme's impact on regional growth
  • Making 'significant progress' in making sure HS2 is ready to manage construction
  • More scrutiny of management from the Department for Transport
  • Saving money by having private sector pay towards stations & cutting trains per-hour from 18 to 14

The Prime Minister has been a critic of HS2, but has also said it might not be sensible to cancel if there is nothing to replace the project.

The Oakervee report is yet to be officially published, but a decision on whether HS2 should continue is expected soon.

Responding to the review's recommendation that the HS2 project continue, John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: 

"Being forced to come clean on the real financial and political costs of HS2 should be the final nail in the coffin for this white elephant.

“Pressing ahead with the line now would be folly, leaving all taxpayers saddled with a hundred billion bumper bill for a project which sees almost half of the benefits going to London.

“The government should spend that cash on the many more valuable and viable alternative transport projects on offer, which would do a far better job of levelling up towns around the country."

Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Mix96