HS2: High-speed railway ‘costs could spiral by £30bn’

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The cost of the UK’s HS2 high-speed railway line could cost as much as £30bn over its original £55.7bn budget, according to the Financial Times

Allan Cook the chairman of the high-speed railway project has written to the Department for Transport to alert them that the project cannot be completed at the original budget, the Financial Times says.

The newspaper said Allan Cook, who is reviewing the project amid cost concerns, has predicted the final figure could end up being between £70bn and £85bn.

According to the BBC, the DfT said a review of HS2’s costs is continuing.

The DfT said in a statement: “The chairman of HS2 Ltd is conducting detailed work into of the costs and schedule of the project to ensure it delivers benefits to passengers, the economy and represents value for money for the taxpayer.

“This work is ongoing. We expect Allan Cook to provide his final assessment in due course.”

The latest news of cost overruns for the high-speed railway adds to growing concerns over the future of HS2. The costs of HS2 appear to be “out of control”, former HS2 chair Sir Terry Morgan said and the project has been beset by contract disputes and constant delays.

In comments to the Financial Times, an HS2 spokesperson said: “We don’t comment on leaks or speculation.

“We have previously noted that our chair, as you would expect, continues to scrutinise the programme, and regularly reports back to the Department [for Transport].

“We are determined to deliver a railway that rebalances the economy, creates jobs, boosts economic growth and is value for money for taxpayers.”

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