Public doubts on HS2 time and cost

Train passes through Ashford, Kent, using the HS1 Channel Tunnel Rail Link. The routes of HS2 have been unveiled. Credit: PA

Most people back the HS2 high-speed rail project but few think the £33 billion scheme will be completed on time and within budget, according to a survey.

As many as 52% are in favour of HS2, the first phase of which, between London and Birmingham, is scheduled to be ready by 2026.

Only 18% are against it and 30% are uncertain, the survey of 1,599 adults conducted by market research firm Consumer Intelligence found.

The second phase, from Birmingham to the North of England, is due to be ready by around 2032/33.

The poll found that just 8% believe HS2 will be completed within its proposed budget and only 11% reckon it will be finished on schedule.

When asked whether the budgeted expenditure was a worthwhile use of public money, there was less support, with 42% saying no and 40% saying yes.