HS2 project condemned by MPs

DfT criticised over HS2 Credit: HS2 Ltd

The Department for Transport has failed to prove that HS2 is the best way to spend £50 billion of rail investment, according to an influential group of MPs.

The Public Accounts Committee, led by Margaret Hodge, says costs are spiralling, estimated benefits are dwindling, and the whole project has been rushed.

A report out today says the Department has failed to present "a convincing strategic case" for the rail project, which would link the Midlands with London.

The project is said to rely on out-of-date figures and research, ignoring, for example, the way in which people continue to work on-board trains using modern technology. The report also claims there is no evidence that the line would help regional economies.

The findings follow recent criticism of HS2 by the Institute of Directors which dismissed it as "a grand folly" and the Institute for Economic Affairs think-tank put estimated costs as high as £80 billion.

The Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has responded saying it was "absolutely clear" that without HS2 key rail routes would be "overwhelmed" by rising passenger numbers.

The Transport Secretary defends the project Credit: PA/PA Wire
Joe Rukin Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager, Joe Rukin says,