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

Read: 'Half a million' affected by construction of HS2 route

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HS2 chief: £80bn claim 'absurd'

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.