Latest Rail News

19.10.18

Leaked: HS2 will cost 25% more than similar projects in other countries

The £56bn HS2 project is set to cost 25% more than similar projects being carried out in other countries, a leaked report written by PwC has revealed.

The official report was commissioned by HS2 but was never published – and, according to the Financial Times, which obtained the document, HS2 has resisted FoI requests to release the information from Labour peer and transport veteran Lord Berkeley since 2016.

However, ministers reportedly revealed over summer that the report would be published “in the coming months.”

The report only covers HS2’s Phase 2, which spans from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds. But according to the national paper’s sources, the report’s broad findings are applicable to the entire project.

Lord Berkeley stated that the study confirms his “worst fears” that the scheme is likely to go over budget – a concern which he wrote about for RTM last year.

“Just as concerning is the continued secrecy around the report — one of many consultants’ studies funded by the taxpayer and kept confidential,” he told the FT. “The fact that the government is embarrassed by their findings should not be a reason to withhold publication.”

PwC highlighted a number of reasons for the higher expense in comparison to such projects as the 621km Madrid-Barcelona and 301km Shanghai-Nanjing lines. One of these was that HS2 will have 25 stations – far more than its foreign counterparts – most of which will be located in city centres.

Other factors included the UK’s high population density which, the leaked document states, has led to HS2 paying higher land values and compensation and carrying out more extensive environmental mitigation.

Work began on the high-speed rail link in Birmingham earlier this month. However, a split in the Tory stance over the project was epitomised by Boris Johnson’s comments at the Conservative Party conference.

Johnson suggested that the high-speed rail project should be put on hold and, in an interview with the Sunday Times, said: “There are projects we should have on transport in the north of the country that ought to take precedence over HS2.”

HS2 has received an ‘amber/red’ rating for the last six years from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, which is part of The Treasury. This means it is at risk of not delivering value for money.

RTM has contacted HS2 for comment.

Top image: Ben Birchall via PA Wire/PA Images

 

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

Most Read

'the sleepers' blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to in... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >