MPs 'highly sceptical' over plan to bankroll crucial section of London HS2

HS2 sign at Euston Credit: PA

MPs have cast doubt on the government's decision to rely on private sector money to fund a crucial section of HS2 in London.

Members of the influential Public Accounts Committee are 'highly sceptical' ministers will be able to raise £6.5bn to finish the line between Old Oak Common and Euston.

The link from Acton to central London was put on hold by prime minister Rishi Sunak in October when he cancelled the HS2 leg to Manchester.

MPs described the decision as 'very poor value for money' and questioned the Department for Transport's ability to raise enough money to make the Euston project a success.

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"HS2 now offers very poor value for money to the taxpayer, and the department and HS2 Ltd do not yet know what it expects the final benefits of the programme to be," said the PAC report.

The MPs added: "We are... highly sceptical that the department will be able to attract private investment on the scale and speed required to make the London terminus station a success."

HS2 chair Sir John Thompson warned last month trains between London and Manchester could become slower and more crowded when the truncated HS2 opens.

He claimed the government's decision to axe the northern leg would mean 'reduced' rail capacity between the two cities because HS2 expresses would be forced onto already crowded tracks north of Birmingham.

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