Track and signalling

01.08.19

Boris Johnson not looking to scrap HS2 despite £100bn cost

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said despite estimates suggesting the HS2 high speed rail line will cost more than £100bn, he was not currently intending to scrap any major infrastructure projects.

Having announced a review into HS2, leading to speculation the project could be cancelled. The initial budget for the high speed rail line had been £57bn.

However, speaking to Birmingham Live, Mr Johnson addressed the concerns over the project and reiterated his commitment to improving infrastructure around the country.

He also suggested that Birmingham's HS2 station at Curzon Street, in the city centre, would be operating as planned in 2026.

READ MORE: FULL SPEECH - PM pledges Manchester-Leeds Rail Route

Mr Johnson explained: “I do think it's only responsible as an incoming government, with all the controversy surrounding the spend on HS2, which will probably be north of £100bn, it's only responsible to have a short review without interrupting the timetable at Curzon Street or anywhere else."

Rail expert Doug Oakervee has been asked by Mr Johnson to conduct the review into HS2, but the new Prime Minister suggested this was designed to look for waste rather than to lead to cancelling the scheme.

Mr Johnson added: “I want him to look at it. I want him to look at the profile of the spend, to establish if there’s waste and whether it could be re-profiled in any way.

"But I want to stress to everybody that, look there’s no-one more fanatical about major infrastructure projects than me ... I’m going to hesitate for a long time before scrapping any major infrastructure project.”

Read more about the Prime Minister's visit from BirminghamLive:

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/boris-johnson-hs2-cost-more-16653605

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