Cam­paign­ers say re­port sug­gests ‘case for HS2 has been made up’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

THE gov­ern­ment is fac­ing crit­i­cism for over­stat­ing the ben­e­fits of HS2 in its business case for the con­tro­ver­sial rail line.

A re­port by the Na­tional Au­dit Of­fice (NAO) has found that the plus points were over­stated by 86 per cent.

This has come about be­cause the gov­ern­ment’s case has been based on a ben­e­fit to cost ra­tio of £2.60 for ev­ery £1 spent.

The Depart­ment for Trans­port has now ad­mit­ted that this was wrong.

In its re­port, the NAO states that the Depart­ment for Trans­port ‘does not al­ways recog­nise the lim­i­ta­tions of its anal­y­sis nor scru­ti­nise out­puts to make sure they make sense.

‘This means that its anal­y­sis has been open to chal­lenge and, in some cases, de­ci­sions have been made us­ing un­re­al­is­tic anal­y­sis.

‘Eco­nomic anal­y­sis must be checked to en­sure it is re­al­is­tic’.

The re­port adds that the Depart­ment for Trans­port needs to do more work on de­vel­op­ing its busi­nesses cases and scru­ti­n­is­ing the eco­nomic anal­y­sis of the es­ti­mated ben­e­fits of the line.

Cam­paign­ers against HS2 have crit­i­cised the gov­ern­ment depart­ment fol­low­ing pub­li­ca­tion of the re­port.

Joe Rukin, cam­paign man­ager for Stop HS2, said: “When the na­tional au­di­tors are say­ing the business case for HS2 was over­stated by 86 per cent be­cause there was a lack of common sense, un­re­al­is­tic anal­y­sis and dou­ble count­ing, you have to won­der how many other things have been got fun­da­men­tally wrong con­cern­ing HS2.

“The whole case for HS2 has been made up and the project should be can­celled be­fore more money is wasted be­cause of politi­cians’ van­ity.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.