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09.10.13

‘Serious shortcomings’ in HS2 cost-benefit analysis

The Treasury Committee has called for the business case of HS2 to be re-examined. 

The latest criticism urges the Government to address concerns raised by the NAO about the existing cross-benefit study, for the Treasury to publicly explain any benefits that HS2 will bring that are not in the existing economic appraisal, and for the Treasury to publish its own comprehensive economic case for HS2.

The report said: “We need reassurance that it can deliver the benefits intended and that those benefits are greater than those of other transport schemes – whether in the department's project pipeline or not – which may be foregone.”

Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative chairman of the committee, added: “There appear to be serious shortcomings in the current cost-benefit analysis for HS2. The economic case must be looked at again. The Bill should not proceed until this work has been done and the project has been formally reassessed by the Government. 

“A more convincing economic case for the project is needed. We need reassurance that it can deliver the benefits intended and that these benefits are greater than those of other transport schemes – whether in the department’s project pipeline or not – which may be foregone.” 

A Government spokesperson said: “We are confident that our analysis is robust and conforms with government spending guidance. 

“The case for HS2 will be further improved when we publish shortly the updated strategic case – including cost-benefit analysis – which will show high value for money for the project.” 

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com 

Image c. HS2 Ltd

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