The chief executive of the High Speed 2 has dismissed claims that the rail project will cost £80 billion as "absurd". A report by Institute for Economic Affairs, due out on Monday, says the costs are likely to double the current estimate.
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.
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.
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.
"All construction access routes" have been considered as part of plans for the HS2 rail route, a project spokesman has told the Mail on Sunday, in response to campaigners' claims of widespread disruption.
He said the public had been consulted on the matter and offered the chance to "express potential concerns or suggest alternatives" and would continue to be involved.
We have sought to provide construction access with minimal disruption and will continue to work with local communities to take on board their views.
In developing the subsequent formal Environmental Statement, we will be considering how we can further reduce any adverse impacts.
The construction of the HS2 rail project will affect the lives of more than half a million people across Middle England, campaigners have said, including those living up to 25 miles from the controversial train route.
They say towns along a 40 mile wide corridor through Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire will be affected by the millions of extra lorry journeys during the building process.
The estimations by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) come from analysis of information it requested from the HS2 project.
Campaigner Ralph Smyth condemned HS2 for its reluctance to hand over the information, saying: "It is not acceptable that it took a charity to uncover this."