• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

HS2 delayed by a further 2 years

ByMaisie McGuffie

Mar 14, 2023
Empty railway through countryside

HS2, the project to deliver a high-speed rail network for the UK, has been delayed by a further two years as a result of increased costs.

The sections affected will be between Birmingham, Crewe and Manchester, with delays meaning that the line to Crewe may not be opened until 2036.

Meanwhile, the line to Manchester may not open until 2043.

While HS2 was estimated to cost over £20bn at the 2010 election, estimations in 2023 range between £71bn to £100bn.

Part of the plan for HS2 was to help balance the economic growth it generated over the whole of the United Kingdom, rather than limiting it to the South-East.

HS2 should create better capacity for local services, cut carbon emissions and connect Britain.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper told Parliament that there has been “significant inflationary pressure and increased project costs, and so we will rephrase construction by two years.”

Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh’s response highlighted the economic impact, stating that “tens of thousands of jobs, and billions in economic growth are dependent on this project.”

Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward stated the decision was “another betrayal of the Midlands and the North, making a mockery of the government’s empty promises to level up the UK economy.”

High Speed Rail Group, who represent rail industry suppliers, stated that “the cheapest way to deliver HS2 is quickly.”

The Confederation of British Industry stated that the delay could affect public confidence in the rail industry as well as resulting in higher costs for the project.

Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt also believes that this change will increase the overall cost of the project.

Some students have expressed upset about the delays, with one saying to The Student: “It is ridiculous that it is taking so long and costing so much.

“It would have made a lot more sense to spend the money on improving the train lines that already exist.

“Once again the Government has shown that they don’t care about the Midlands and the North.”

West Ruislip HS2 works” by Robin Kearney is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

By Maisie McGuffie

Opinion Editor