2020 forecast for HS2 work to start
Project group confident work will start on time in 2017 Stop HS2 say prediction comes as no surprise to them
CONSTRUCTION experts have predicted that building work on HS2 will not begin until 2020 – three years behind schedule.
In its summer industry forecast, the Construction Products Association cited concerns regarding planning and financing as reasons why it does not think that civil engineering works will be starting on time in 2017.
It also says it expects people affected by the controversial project will add to the delay time because of appeals.
The CPA’s economics director Dr Noble Francis said: “When you look at major rail infrastructure, there is usually a significant period of time before projects get off the ground.
“Thameslink was originally the Thameslink 2000, Crossrail was given the green light in 1990.
“You won’t see these sort of delays to this project, but when we are talking about major infrastructure, we as forecasters have to forecast a degree later than officially stated.”
However, the concerns have been dismissed by HS2 Ltd, which says it expects the project to start on time.
Spokesman Richard Pain said: “Successful planning is the key to most major projects remaining on schedule.
“Following a resounding backing from parliament at the second reading of the hybrid bill for HS2 phase one, we remain confident that the main construction of HS2 will start in 2017, with civics work to begin in 2018.”
Campaigners against the project say they also believe the project will end up being delayed.
Joe Rukin, Stop HS2 campaign manager said: “As the current schedule for HS2 construction is already two years behind the original timetable, adding another two or three years would be no surprise to us.
“There have been concerns since the start that HS2 would be late and over budget, but despite the fact it is already late and over budget, HS2 Ltd always dismiss anyone who criticises their competence, no matter how expert and impartial they are.”