Government Considers Northern Slowerhouse HS2 Redesign for Top Bits

By Gary Cutlack on at

The government's transport secretary has hinted that the decision to rubber-stamp the build of HS2 could come at a cost for the more northern sections of the line, which may end up being built to a lower spec that would reduce overall speeds.

This, transport secretary Grant Shapps said, is because certain sections of the line have been designed with a higher specification than is really required, in order to hit certain journey time reduction targets. These are too ambitious, Shapps says, and there's a trade off to be made in adding a few minutes to total times and calming speeds a little in order to perhaps shave some billions off the spiralling build cost.

Shapps told the BBC he believes there's been some "over-specification" in current designs for tracks north of Birmingham, adding that planners have been guilty of adding " plating to this project and the obsession with getting time off the journey" so we can say we're spending upwards of £100bn for good reason and may up with one bit of track that's world class at the end of it all. [Guardian]