HS2 update to Parliament: Autumn 2020

HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson says the cost of the HS2 rail link could have increased by £800 million.

The total funding envelope for Phase One remains at £44.6 billion, which includes further available contingency of £4.3 billion over and above that delegated to HS2 Ltd, which is retained by the Department for Transport and Her Majesty’s Treasury.

The Minister says he is determined to carefully scrutinise the use of contingency to ensure that it is sufficient to cover issues that may emerge later in the project and will provide updates to Parliament through these reports.

The details have been revealed in a written statement to Parliament which includes a link to a review of the high-speed rail including overview, programme update, schedule, community and environment impact.

Half of the increase is down to enabling works to prepare the line of route for construction, such as the need to safely remove more asbestos than expected.

The other is related to Euston Station, where further development of the baseline scheme has identified a significant cost pressure.

Looking to the forward look, Andrew Stephenson writes: “For Phase One, the focus for the coming year will see the continued mobilisation of the Phase One construction programme and commencement of civil engineering and tunnelling activities alongside further contract awards for stations, rolling stock and systems.

“I will continue to focus on the control of schedule and cost whilst implementing the reforms on land and property acquisition, managing the impact of construction on local communities, and improving environmental performance and reporting.

“Subject to Parliament’s will, the Phase 2a Bill will continue through its final legislative stages to secure authority for construction of the route to Crewe and northern destinations via the West Coast Main Line.

“We will continue to define the scope and scheme for Phase 2b as part of the work to conclude the integrated rail plan and to prepare a hybrid bill for the Western Leg from Crewe to Manchester.”

Click here to read the full report.

Photo credit: HS2

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