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HS2 costs sky-rocket yet again

Recent figures, that have been revealed by the Financial Times, show that the predicted cost of delivering High Speed Rail Two (HS2) is expected to increase by a further 20 per cent from the previous estimate, which stated between £81Bn and £88Bn, to over £106Bn.

These statistics, which have been reported by the Financial Times, have come from the ‘HS2 Review’ which was conducted by Douglas Oakervee in November last year, a report which has yet to be fully revealed to the public but which the Financial Times were granted a read over.

In his review, Mr Oakervee explicitly states that HS2 should proceed but some serious consideration should be taken in regard to the economic benefits it will provide, with Oakervee going on to state that more than better transport between regions is needed to “rebalance” the British economy.

Part way through the reviewing process for HS2, the deputy chairman of the review, Lord Berkeley, actually requested that his name be struck from the review on account of it supporting the continuation of HS2’s construction despite the almost exponential increase in costs which he believes are being consciously confused.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has expressed that he has questions and reservations over the recommendations stated in the review but a decision will be reached fairly soon, while the National Audit Office (NAO) is currently undertaking its own independent review into HS2 which is scheduled to be published by the end of January.

Initial projections placed the cost of HS2 at £34Bn, with a revised prediction in 2015 witnessing the cost increase to a figure of £56Bn, although further estimated, generated over in the previous few months, suggested that HS2 could end up costing between £81Bn and £88Bn, making the latest figure all the more horrifying.

Completion of the first section of HS2 was originally predicted for achievement in 2026, whereas the Manchester and Leeds branches were expected to be finished by 2032/33, however these deadlines have now been pushed back to 2031 and 2040 respectively.

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