Britain’s HS2 rail project could be further delayed due to rising costs and ‘significant’ inflation
- HS2 bosses could delay the controversial rail project to curb rising costs
- Mark Thurston said the impact of inflation over the past year is ‘significant’
The HS2 rail project could be delayed with a number of options being considered to curb rising costs.
Boss Mark Thurston said the impact of inflation on the project over the past year has been “significant…whether it’s wood, steel, aggregates for all the concrete we need to build the track, labor, all our energy costs, fuel’.
Phase 1 of HS2 includes the construction of the railway line between London and Birmingham, with the line extended from the West Midlands to Crewe in Phase 2a.
Phase 2b will link Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to the East Midlands.
The target cost of Phase 1 is currently £40.3bn at 2019 prices and will open between 2029 and 2033.
HS2 faces further delays of up to four years and more budget cuts, possibly not completing until 2045
The cost of the whole project has gone up and up over the years, from £33bn in 2010 to at least £71bn now. In an interview with the BBC, Mr Thurston said HS2 was in talks with suppliers and the government to find ways to minimize rising costs.
He said, “We’re looking at the timing of the project, the phasing of the project, we’re looking at where we can use our supply chain to secure a lot of those things that cost us more because of inflation.”
His comments come after Railway Minister Huw Merriman told MPs on Thursday that the government remains fully behind the project.
He told the House of Commons: ‘We are absolutely committed to delivering HS2… But we have to look at cost pressures, it is absolutely right that HS2 is focusing on costs.’