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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.

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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.

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