Campaigners urge Government to think again as new estimate puts HS2 cost at £111billion

Campaigners say the Government must halt HS2 before the cost of the project rises further.

A report in the Sunday Times has claimed the eventual cost of the high speed rail line could rise to £111billion – double the official £55.7billion estimate.

It would mean each mile of the track linking London with the north via Birmingham would cost £403million.

An artist's impression of HS2

An artist’s impression of HS2

Joe Rukin, manager of campaign group Stop HS2, said: “The cost of HS2 has already doubled once since it was first proposed so it should come as no surprise to anyone that it might double again.

“With it being so obvious to everyone who lives in the real world that there are so many far more important priorities for public spending, it seems utterly insane that the Government are still wedded to this vanity project and all its false promises.

“With the final design for HS2 not due for another 18 months, it is already two years late and that redesign will almost certainly jack up the costs again.

“Since the start, the case for HS2 has been invented by the very cheerleaders who intend to rake in billions of taxpayers’ money which is desperately needed elsewhere, so it really is time to ditch this gigantic white elephant, before it is too late.”

The revised figures were drawn up by Michael Byng, the man who drew up Network Rail’s system for costing its projects across the UK.

He claimed the cost of the route would rocket to £104billion, but campaigners say the additional cost of trains to run on the line will see the eventual bill climb to nearer £111billion.

The controversial rail line will include the Birmingham Curzon Station in the Eastside area of the city, near Birmingham City University’s campus.

 

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