- 5 updates
The former Labour Transport Secretary Lord Adonis has hit back at the criticism of the Government's HS2 rail plans by MPs on the public accounts committee:
MPs from the Commons public accounts committee have called for the Department of Transport to provide more detailed evidence to support the estimated £50 billion investment. Presenting the committee's findings, chairperson Marget Hodge said:
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has rejected the findings of the Commons public accounts committee, which criticised the costs and benefits of the HS2 high-speed rail network.
Mr McLoughlin said the case for the £50 billion project was "absolutely clear," as rail routes would be "overwhelmed" by rising passenger numbers. He said:
"The project will free up vital space on our railways for passengers and freight, generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and deliver better connections between our towns and cities.
"HS2 is a vital part of our plan to give Britain the transport infrastructure it needs to compete.
The Commons public accounts committee has issued a withering assessment of the HS2 high-speed rail project, warning costs were spiralling whilst benefits were dwindling.
The committee said the case for the £50 billion project was based on "fragile numbers, out-of-date data and assumptions which do not reflect real life" with no evidence it would aid regional economies not simply "suck" even more activity into London.
It has demanded an urgent explanation of how quickly the Department of Transport could plug the "significant" gaps in the commercial and major project expertise in its teams.
The HS2 high-speed rail project has come under renewed attack by the Commons public accounts committee, who have accused the Department of Transport of failing to present a "convincing strategic case" for the £50 billion project.
The public spending watchdog raised a number of questions about the apparent benefits and warned the costs were spiralling.