New Report Condemns Scaled-Back HS2 Plans as a Waste of Public Money


Building Only London-to-Birmingham Leg Will Not Be Value for Money, MPs Say

A new report by MPs has criticized the scaled-back plans for the HS2 rail project, stating that it is a waste of public money. The report particularly questions the government's assessment that completing only Phase One of the plan is better than abandoning it entirely. The cost of constructing just the London-to-Birmingham leg of HS2 has now soared to £66.6 billion.

Uncertainties and Poor Value for Money

The report from the Public Accounts Committee expresses concerns about the uncertainties in the government's assessment and the lack of assurance over the calculations. It concludes that HS2 offers very poor value for money to taxpayers, and that the total costs will outweigh the benefits. The Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd are also said to be unsure of the final benefits of the project.

HS2 in Need of Strong Leadership

Dame Meg Hillier, Chair of the Committee, criticizes HS2 for lacking a steady hand from the beginning. She emphasizes that the project has been plagued with warnings and now the country is committed to completing a truncated version of HS2 with many unanswered questions and risks still present.

Concerns Over Private Investment and Northern Leg

The report also raises concerns about the government's attempt to attract private investment for the planned London terminus at Euston, which was met with skepticism by MPs. Additionally, the potential consequences of canceling the northern leg of HS2 are highlighted as a cause for concern.

HS2 Promises Changes Under New Leadership

An HS2 spokesman responds to the report by stating that the project is now under new leadership and is implementing changes. However, no further details are provided.

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