HS2 construction to be SUSPENDED to save money

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to announce the construction of various stretches of the HS2 railway will be suspended to save money, it has been reported. Sections from Manchester to Crewe and Birmingham to Crewe are understood to be the most affected although the Euston end of the line may also be affected.

The railway, which has come under cost increases and experienced delays over the years, is planned to connect London, the Midlands and the North of England.

Back in 2010, the project was set to cost roughly £33bn. But the price has increased to a whopping £71bn.

HS2 Ltd chief executive Mark Thurston told the BBC his company and the Government were considering the timing and phasing of the railway construction.

He said inflation’s impact had been “significant” and had affected the cost of timber, steel, aggregates for concrete, labour and energy costs.

Conservative MP Simon Clarke, former chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “This would be a sensible decision.

“Having observed HS2’s progress as chief secretary, I have serious doubts as to value for money and cost control.”

In October last year, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said the forecast for when HS2’s phases could be completed remained within planned ranges.

That involved Phase One – connecting London with Birmingham – opening between 2029 and 2033.

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