The cost of HS2 – a planned high-speed rail link connecting London with Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds – has increased by £ 1.7 billion over the past year. Sunrise, open to Financial Times according to sources close to the project, it is associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Social distancing measures and work stoppages resulted in decreased productivity and forced delays.
How the value of HS2 continues to rise
Estimated HS2 Budget (£ billion)
Financial Times, HS2 Ltd, Oakervee Review
The current budget estimate is the latest in a series of cost increases since the controversial project was announced more than a decade ago. The original budget estimate for 2012 of £ 32.7 billion rose to nearly £ 56 billion by the time of the 2015 government spending review. In 2020, an independent review of the project by engineer Douglas Oakervey showed that the cost could be as high as £ 106 billion.
Opposition to the project, which received final approval from the Boris Johnson government in February 2020, is growing. Local anger over HS2 was a factor behind the dramatic defeat of the Conservatives by the Liberal Democrats in the by-elections in Chesham and Amersham last week.
Critics of the line fear its potential environmental impact and that it could further cement London’s dominance. But supporters argue that the HS2 is needed to increase the capacity of the railways.
An HS2 spokesperson said: “ FT Today’s reports indicate that the project’s budget has increased by £ 1.7bn, which is absolutely not the case.
“The HS2 budget for the first phase remains at £ 44.6 billion. This includes unforeseen circumstances, including unforeseen events such as Covid-19. HS2 remains within this budget and is not projected to exceed it under current circumstances. No additional money from the Treasury is required for this. “