There needs to be a “really detailed investigation” into the rising cost of HS2 to find out how the project’s initial cost estimate turned out to be so exaggerated, Lord Heseltine has said.
The high-speed rail line was given a budget of around £55bn in 2015, but an official review in 2020 showed the cost had risen to around £106bn.
Lord Heseltine, former Conservative deputy prime minister, told Times Radio: “The figures are appalling, let’s not waste our time, and there needs to be a really detailed investigation into how people got these figures so wrong.
“But having said all that, this is, firstly, the leveling up agenda and, secondly, national prestige and credibility, and you cannot have a government that says it is going to carry out a big infrastructure project, which which means that many people invest very large sums of money believing in it and then cut the ground under their feet.
“They did it last week with the climate change situation… and if we add the uncertainties of Brexit, we have a country that people look at from abroad, and this means that foreign investors, who look at you, shake their heads. head in disbelief.”