HS2 In Hot Water, Deemed ‘Unrealistic’

Murky time schedules and budget worries throw HS2 into doubt

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Photo: ClemRutter. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/legalcode

The Public Accounts Committee, which looks into public spending, has released a report that throws the usefulness of HS2 into question.

HS2 refers to the proposed rail line linking London to the North, including Birmingham. When Theresa May came into power, her cabinet and the  Department of Transport insisted it would go ahead with HS2 plans, but the Chair of the Committee, Meg Hillier MP, has said “the Government has promised significant benefits to taxpayers in return for their investment in HS2, expected to run to more than £55 billion.

“Despite this, Parliament and the public are still in the dark about crucial details – not least when the railway will open, how much it is expected to cost and precisely where it will go.

In the Committee’s report, MP’s said “We are not convinced that the timetable for delivering High Speed 2 is realistic.” Currently, HS2 is predicted to be complete by 2026. They added they were “concerned that the Department’s timetable for High Speed 2 is overly ambitious, which is exemplified by the fact that the Department and HS2 Ltd are now looking at delaying the planned opening date for phase 1 by up to 12 months from December 2026 to December 2027.”

The second phase of development will link Birmingham to Manchester and is predicted to go £7bn over budget, which the Committee deems “volatile.”

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