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Cost of HS2 in UK up by 85% - National Audit Office

Infra News - Published on Thu, 30 Jan 2020

Image Source: HS2
UK’s public spending watchdog National Audit Office has revealed that the cost of the main civil engineering works on the first phase of HS2 has increased by 85%, or almost GBP 5 billion. They said that costs for the 140-mile section of the route between London and Birmingham had risen from GBP 5.8 billion in April 2017 to GBP 10.7 billion by October 2019. In its report, High Speed Two: A Progress Update, the NAO said: “The High Speed Two railway is over budget and behind schedule because the Department for Transport (DfT), HS2 and wider government have underestimated its complexity and risk.”

The report found that the cost of designing and building stations at Euston and Old Oak Common in London and Interchange and Curzon Street in the Midlands had gone up by 34%, or £1bn, to almost £4bn in the same period.

Explaining the increase, the NAO said: “Additional costs of constructing bridges, tunnels and earthworks as the consequences of the DfT’s set requirements for HS2 became clear in the programme’s design. Contractors’ security, design and logistical costs were higher than anticipated.”

It said that station costs had also gone up as estimates of contractor overheads and design costs were based on programmes which underestimated the costs of HS2 as well as additional requirements from the DfT and third parties on the specification of the stations.

The report also revealed the extent of delays to individual projects within the scheme, such as the appointment of contractors to build Curzon Street and Interchange stations.

HS2 scrapped the process to find a contractor to build the £435m Curzon Street station last July and now looks unlikely to name a builder until next year. It had been due to do this in 2020.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Thu, 30 Jan 2020
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