HS2 eastern leg
Lord Adonis claims that Government is “seeking to indefinitely delay and quite possibly cancel” HS2’s eastern leg.
There is a clear case for pressing ahead with HS2 despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Baroness Vere.
Replying to a Lords Written question from Lord Walney on November 9, asking if any assessment had been made regarding assumptions about passenger numbers being affected by the pandemic, Vere said it has not yet been possible to undertake specific analysis to determine COVID-19’s impact on HS2.
She blamed the rapid development and uncertain outcome of the virus as reasons for not yet carrying out this work.
However, she told Walney:
“The Department for Transport is working with colleagues across Government to understand the impact on transport demand and the pandemic’s wider effect on the economy, and how this will affect future business cases for transport infrastructure investment.
“The Full Business Case for Phase 1, published in April, looked at both high- and low-demand scenarios, underpinned by population and economic growth forecasts. That analysis showed that even in a scenario where demand is relatively low, there is still a clear case for pressing ahead with HS2.”
She said Government was confident that the strategic business case for the subsequent stages to Crewe, Manchester and Leeds remains clear.