Delaying HS2 will not save money – Govt minister


Transport secretary admits that delays to HS2 projects “doesn’t save money.” 

HS2 artist impression.
Credit: HS2.

Mark Harper told MPs in a Transport Select Committee last Wednesday that the delays do not ensure that the scheme will save money

This follows shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh and the Labour party’s claim that delays “will increase costs” and put firms out of business according to leaked documents they obtained from “senior officials.” 

“They admit it will cost jobs, that construction firms could go bust,” said Ms Haigh.   

In the committee meeting, Mr Harper said: “In itself, delaying delivering something doesn’t save money.

“But of course, it does reflect the fact that you have a budget each year, everybody listening to this has to live within their annual budget, as well as a budget over time.”

The current state of HS2

Further issues around the project came when HS2 boss Mark Thurston announced delays to the Birmingham to Crewe section in March

The government called for the delays to reduce annual expenditure and spread the cost of the scheme over time. 

In the same month, Levelling-Up secretary Michael Gove expressed uncertainty about whether HS2 would terminate at Euston Station as initially planned.  

HS2 confirmed that the construction of the Euston tunnel will not begin in 2024. 

Euston’s budget has doubled to £4.8 billion since 2020 and the budget for phase one of HS2 is estimated at £44.6 billion

What we know 

A viaduct is currently being built in Buckinghamshire, providing a connection between London and the North for HS2 trains. 

A tunnel to Old Oak Common station, which takes HS2 to the West London suburbs, is also expected to be complete in the next six months. 

HS2 was expected to begin running from 2029 and 2033 on the completion of phase one. 

The timeline has shifted to around 2032 to 2036, with services not reaching Manchester until the 2040s, according to Sky News

If you liked this article, check out EKFB and ASC’s lead new HS2 viaduct in Buckinghamshire

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