Cost of HS2 'could double'

The cost of the HS2 rail project could reach at least £80bn, almost double the current estimate, a report has found. The study by the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) called for the project to be scrapped.

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Maps reveal full extent of HS2 impact

The controversial High Speed 2 project is once again in the firing line after it was claimed almost half a million people, many of them in and around London, will be affected by the construction work.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England says the environmental impact of the high speed project could be far greater than people had previously thought. It comes as the cost of HS2 is predicted to spiral to 80 million pounds.

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HS2 chief forced to defend project amid new claims

Plans for High Speed 2 took a blow today as they were attacked on both financial and environmental grounds.

A report by the Institute for Economic Affairs suggested that the cost of the project is likely to double official estimates, reaching £80 billion.

The charity Campaign for Rural England also said it believes half a million people - including some living 40 miles from the planned route - would be affected by the construction.

But the chief executive of HS2, Alison Munro, described the claimw as "absurd" and insisted the project would remain within budget.

ITV News correspondent Lewis Vaughan Jones reports:

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How HS2 could really affect you

The controversial High Speed 2 project is once again in the firing line after it was claimed almost half a million people, many of them in and around London, will be affected by the construction work.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England says the environmental impact of the high speed project could be far greater than people had previously thought.

New maps have been created to give residents along the entire route a chance to visualise what could change in their areas. They outline the landscape, construction and operational changes on an interactive map for the whole route.

See how your area could be affected here

One map illustrates the areas of higher population during phase 1 of the project Credit: hs2maps.com
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HS2 chief dismisses £80bn figure as 'absurd'

The chief executive of High Speed 2, Alison Munro, has dismissed the claim that the rail project will cost £80 billion - more than double the official estimate - as "absurd".

She told ITV News that she "doesn't recognise" the figure allegedly quoted in a report by the Institute of Economic Affairs, and that she is confident the cost will not overrun.

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HS2: 'Crescendo of opposition getting louder'

The IEA's [Institute of Economic Affairs] study is the most hard-hitting attack on the project by an independent group so far.

The crescendo of opposition to this project is just getting louder and louder and the government is still not listening.We've long suspected that the only people pushing for this vanity project are those with vested interests.

The IEA report is clear - that councils and chambers of commerce in cities which will get stations, along with the firms which will get billions of pounds from building HS2, are the only ones lobbying for HS2.

– Joe Rukin, campaign manager, StopHS2
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Govt 'committed to managing the cost' of HS2

A Department for Transport spokesman said the Government were "committed to managing the cost" of HS2 after a report suggested the project had doubled in cost to at least £80 billion.

HS2 is absolutely vital for this country, providing a huge economic boost which will generate a return on investment that will continue paying back for generations to come.

Without it the key rail routes connecting London, the Midlands and the North will be overwhelmed. HS2 will provide the capacity needed in a way that will generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of pounds worth of economic benefits.

The Government is committed to managing the cost within the budget we have set for the project and to securing maximum value for money for the taxpayer, while also ensuring that preparations are properly made for the most significant infrastructure investment the UK has seen in modern times.

– Department for Transport spokesman

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Report: HS2 'defies logic' after cost doubles to £80bn

The report's estimated cost of building HS2 vastly exceeds the Department of Transport's upgraded figure of £43 billion. Credit: Department for Transport

The estimated cost of building the controversial High Speed 2 rail network, which will travel through parts of Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire has doubled to at least £80 billion, The Sunday Telegraph has reported.

A 58-page independent report by the Institute of Economic Affairs, due out tomorrow, will say that the spiralling cost of construction means HS2 now "defies economic logic" and should be cancelled.

The institute's report also apparently claims the £80 billion cost of HS2 could create "£320 billion of economic value" if it were invested in road, rail or other transport projects instead.

HS2 Vital says transport spokesman

HS2 is absolutely vital for this country, providing a huge economic boost which will generate a return on investment that will continue paying back for generations to come.

Without it the key rail routes connecting London, the Midlands and the North will be overwhelmed. HS2 will provide the capacity needed in a way that will generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of pounds worth of economic benefits.

– Spokesman for the Department for Transport

Cost of HS2 'could reach £80bn'

File image of part of the proposed HS2 route Credit: HS2/PA Wire

The cost of the HS2 rail project could reach at least £80bn, almost double the current estimate, a report has found. The study by the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) called for the project to be scrapped, saying it "defies economic logic", the Sunday Telegraph said.

In the report, to be published tomorrow, the IEA says the cost of the scheme has been vastly underestimated, and argues that the £80bn price tag could deliver £320bn of value if spent on road and other rail and transport projects.

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