HS2 fig­ures ‘are political fan­tasy’

Train link costs are soar­ing say pro­tes­tors

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

OP­PO­NENTS of the pro­posed HS2 rail­way through Hilling­don claim the cost of the pro­ject has jumped by 39 per cent.

The Chan­cel­lor ad­mit­ted in his Au­tumn State­ment last year that the over­all cost of the pro­ject had in­creased from £50.1bn to £55.7bn, with of­fi­cials claim­ing that the 11.2 per cent in­crease was due to in­fla­tion.

But Stop HS2 cam­paign­ers now say Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quests to HS2 Ltd and the Depart­ment for Trans­port show that the con­struc­tion es­ti­mates have risen by 15.02 per cent for Phase 1 (from £15.65bn to £18bn) and 39.2 per cent for Phase 2 (£12.5bn to 17.4bn).

Joe Rukin, Stop HS2 cam­paign man­ager, said: “In Novem­ber we were told that the in­crease in costs of the HS2 pro­ject was purely as a re­sult of adding in­fla­tion, but now we can see that was sim­ply not true.

“The fact the Phase 2 con­struc­tion es­ti­mate has spi­ralled by 39 per cent is ex­cep­tion­ally wor­ry­ing, so it’s no won­der they wanted to keep this fact quiet.

“The fact the con­tin­gency for Phase 2, which there is cur­rently no plan for, has gone down along with the cost of the as-yet un­spec­i­fied trains, can only be in­ter­preted at the govern­ment pulling out all the stops to fid­dle the fig­ures and keep the pub­lished costs down.” Code Of Prac­tice as en­forced by IPSO who are con­tactable for ad­vice at In­de­pen­dent Press Stan­dards Or­gan­i­sa­tion, Gate House, 1 Far­ring­don Street, Lon­don EC4M 7LG. Web­site http://www.ipso.co. uk/ Tele­phone: 0300 123 2220 email ad­vice@ipso.co.uk

The govern­ment has kept the over­all cost down by cut­ting the Phase 2 con­tin­gency fund by al­most 20 per cent and re­duc­ing the cost es­ti­mate and the con­tin­gency fund for HS2 rolling stock.

An HS2 spokesper­son said: “The change is sim­ply a re­flec­tion of the pro­ject’s cost quoted in 2015 prices in­stead of 2011 prices.”

Penny Gaines,

chair

of

If you have a com­plaint con­cern­ing a po­ten­tial breach of the Code of Prac­tice, we will deal with your com­plaint di­rectly or IPSO can re­fer your com­plaint to us.

Please go to http://www. trin­i­tymir­ror.com/ how­to­com­plain where you Stop HS2, said: “The plan to sup­pos­edly speed up HS2 to Crewe misses out the costs of con­struct­ing a sta­tion at Crewe. Con­tin­gency costs for Phase 2 have shrunk even though the Depart­ment for Trans­port are still de­lib­er­at­ing over the route.

“The govern­ment didn’t up­date the costs to re­flect re­al­ity, in­stead this is a political fan­tasy fig­ure.” can view our Com­plaints Pol­icy and Pro­ce­dure. A “How To Com­plain” pack is also avail­able by writ­ing to the Le­gal and Com­pli­ance Depart­ment, Trin­ity Mir­ror PLC, One Canada Square, Ca­nary Wharf, Lon­don E14 5AP.

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