Doubts growing over HS2, investigation reports
A Channel 4 documentary to be broadcast this evening will claim that the government is considering only building HS2 as far as Birmingham, or even halting it altogether, amid spiralling costs.
Professor Stephen Glaister, former head of the Office of Rail and Road, will claim on the Dispatches programme that HS2 has not been properly thought through, suggesting that giving larger sums of money to Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle might have been more effective.
The programme is also set to claim that the annual cost of the project, originally estimated at £4.2bn, could rise to £6bn.
But a spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “HS2 is already underway with 7,000 people and 2,000 businesses working on building what will become the backbone of Britain’s rail network. This new rail line will integrate with Northern Powerhouse Rail and together they will transform the region, improving connections between major cities, boosting productivity, delivering better journeys for passengers and driving forward economic growth across the country.”
As plans currently stand, HS2 will provide a 330-mile high-speed rail link between London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, with full completion expected in 2033.
The Dispatches programme will air tonight on Channel 4 at 8pm.