HS2 costs have ‘no obvious end in sight.’
MPs are becoming increasingly concerned about aspects of the multibillion-pound HS2 railway project, which has “no clear finish in sight.” The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) expressed alarm about the lack of development at Euston Station, which could result in more delays and ambiguity about the project’s stated benefits.
The official cost of completing HS2 is anticipated to be between £72 billion and 98 billion pounds, compared to a budget of £55.7 billion in 2015 prices.
According to rail experts, the final price could increase dramatically.
When the project’s delivery date and budget were faced with “severe difficulties,” the Committee criticized the Department for Transport (DfT) and HS2 Ltd of a lack of transparency.
They said that the Department of Transport and rail managers were unable to explain how they would assure the delivery of benefits promised by the government to communities and companies along the route.
“HS2 is currently one of the most expensive taxpayer-funded projects in the UK, but there is no clear end in sight in terms of the total cost, or even the final route,” said Dame Meg Hillier MP, head of the PAC.
“From the beginning, the project was dogged by a lack of planning and transparency, and there are other challenges ahead.
“Without more clarification on the later phases, this project cannot continue to sink more taxpayer cash. Euston’s development is a significant challenge that must be addressed as soon as possible.”
The first phase, from London to the West Midlands, is expected to be completed in 2025.
Euston Station is an important aspect of the phase, but MPs claim that a decision on the design and method to construction there has yet to be reached.
“For the first time, HS2 Ltd has provided us expected prices and delivery timelines for each piece of Phase One,” said Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, deputy head of the PAC.
“However, they have given us a cost estimate of £2.6 billion for the reconstruction of Euston Station, which may or may not be reasonable, but they have not given us a timeframe by which Euston will be incorporated into the rest of Phase One, which will open at Old Oak Common first.
“The substantial cost benefits of Phase One will be restricted if Euston does not come online soon after this.”
The government must yet make a decision. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”