HS2 £22bn Over Budget and Will be at Least Five Years Late

By Gary Cutlack on at

The government has sneaked out some bad news regarding HS2 – or it might be good news depending on your opinion of the new train line – with today's transport secretary increasing the project's budget from £56bn to £88bn in today's equivalent money just like that; oh and also warning that it might be five years late.

Oh wait, news just in: it might be seven years late as well. Five years late is for phase one between London and Birmingham, but seven years late is how much later the Birmingham-Manchester/Leeds extension is expected to arrive now. This is exactly the sort of disastrous time/money vortex development the HS2 review will want to hear about, as it considers the nuclear option of binning the entire thing even at this stage of development when holes have already been made in cities to accommodate it and houses have been compulsorily purchased at great expense.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps is communicating the thoughts of HS2 chairman Allan Cooke, who was asked to disclose the current thinking on the deliverability [PDF] of the project. He says it's all still doable, mind, and that we should. [GOV]