The Birmingham to Crewe section of HS2 will be delayed by two years due to the “significant” impact of inflation on the project, the government has said.
by Rory Butler / March 10, 2023
The news follows HS2 CEO, Mark Thurston, revealing last week that cost pressures had forced fresh discussions with the government and suppliers over the project’s timing.
“We’re looking at the timing of the project, the phasing of the project, we’re looking at where we can use our supply chain to secure a lot of those things that are costing us more through inflation,” he told the BBC in an exclusive interview.
Mr Thurston said the price of goods and services, including materials, labour and energy, had been “significant” in the past 12 months.
It is also understood a “affordable” design being worked up could now delay Euston station’s delivery, according to the BBC.
Transport secretary Mark Harper said he is still committed to HS2, but that soaring inflation and costs had forced the “difficult” decision to rephase construction.
The government hopes it can reduce annual expenditure by spreading costs over a longer period.
HS2 connects London, the Midlands and the North, with links in Birmingham and Manchester.
Delays and rising costs have long haunted the scheme.
HS2’s initial budget in 2010 was around £33 billion. In 2015 it was £55.7 billion. Recent estimates however put the total between £70 billion and £100 billion.
The first passengers aboard HS2 are scheduled to travel between Old Oak Common station in London and Birmingham, between 2029 and 2033.
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