‘Abysmal value for money'
Autumn statement reveals estimated cost now at £55.7 billion
THE official cost of HS2 has risen to £55.7bn, according to George Osborne’s Autumn Statement.
Until the Autumn Statement, delivered on Wednesday, November 25, the official cost of the construction of HS2 had been given as £42.6bn in 2011 prices, with a further £7.5bn added for the cost of trains.
This means that there has been an increase of £5.6bn, or 11 per cent, making the figure for the overall cost of HS2 almost double the original estimate published in 2010.
Paragraph 2.85 of the Autumn Statement says: ““Construction will begin on HS2 during the Parliament, and the Spending Review confirms a funding envelope of £55.7 billion in 2015 prices, which will deliver HS2 from London to Birmingham by 2026, and to Leeds and Manchester by 2033.”
Mr Osborne also said that along with HS2, the Great Western, Trans Pennine and Midland Mainline electrification projects can go ahead, which have themselves all been hit by cost over runs in the past.
Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin said: “HS2 is abysmal value for money, and the increasingly dogmatic support for this white elephant and its’ spiralling costs is completely unfathomable.
“A 31% increase in the projected costs for construction is shameful after promises that the costs would be kept under control, but it is just another in a long line of HS2 cost hikes, and there will be more to come.”
Penny Gaines, chairman of Stop HS2 said: “HS2 is clearly a white elephant. Transport in the North does need improvement, but it isn’t the links to London which are holding back the economies of the North. It’s the ability to cross the Pennines, it’s getting into city centres from local towns.
“This is where the money needs spending on transport, not on one big showy railway line.”
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