MPs ‘sceptical’ over HS2

MPs are ‘sceptical’ about whether the HS2 rail line which would cut through the Vale will deliver value for money for taxpayers.

By Adam King
Friday, 16th January 2015, 9:53 am
Computer-generated visuals of HS2
Computer-generated visuals of HS2

The Commons Public Accounts Committee said the £50bn price tag ‘includes a generous contingency’, and they were ‘concerned that this will simply be used to mask cost overspends, rather than valid calls on contingency funds’.

Committee chair Margaret Hodge MP, said today that the government’s transport department ‘has a long way to go to prove that it is being more effective in realising benefits from major programmes’.

“We are concerned that the department is repeating the mistakes of the past with HS2 given the limited resources it is investing in supporting the project to secure regeneration benefits from this £50 billion programme.”

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Mrs Hodge was speaking as the committee published its report, titled ‘Lessons learned from major rail infrastructure programmes’, on the basis of evidence from senior staff from the department.

The committee said that Department for Transport has ‘faced a number of issues’ on recent big rail projects, ‘such as setting out a clear case for investment, planning effectively, and evaluating and realising programme benefits’.

It remains ‘concerned about the department’s ability to deliver on time and budget’.