- 10 updates
A new high speed rail network, HS2, that is planned to cut through Oxford and Buckinghamshire is said to cost nearly £80bn. The cost of the project is nearly double its estimation and thinktank has called for the transport link to be scrapped altogether.
However, the chief executive of High Speed 2, Alison Munro, has dismissed the claim that the rail project will cost £80 billion and called its figures 'absurd'.
The chief executive of High Speed 2, Alison Munro, has dismissed the claim that the rail project will cost £80 billion - more than double the official estimate - as "absurd".
She told ITV News that she "doesn't recognise" the figure allegedly quoted in a report by the Institute of Economic Affairs, and that she is confident the cost will not overrun.
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.
Richard Wellings from the Institute for Economic Affairs has said there is now more pressure for the scheme to be cancelled and that money should be spent on other transport projects.
"All construction access routes" have been considered as part of plans for the HS2 rail route, a project spokesman has told the Mail on Sunday, in response to campaigners' claims of widespread disruption.
He said the public had been consulted on the matter and offered the chance to "express potential concerns or suggest alternatives" and would continue to be involved.
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.
The cost of the HS2 rail project which will travel through parts of Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire could reach at least £80bn, almost double the current estimate.
The study by the Institute for Economic Affairs called for the project to be scrapped according to the Sunday Telegraph.
In the report, to be published tomorrow, the IEA says the cost of the scheme has been vastly underestimated, and argues that the £80billion price tag could deliver £320billion of value if spent on road and other rail and transport projects.
Campaigners are also warn that more than half a million people will have their lives affected by the project's construction.
HS2 has been launched to provide a 250mph rail link between London and Birmingham from 2026.
The report suggested that the government's £42.6bn estimate would spiral because of a variety of factors, including changes to routes and extra tunnelling to placate opposition from campaigners; new stations, grants for regeneration and compensation for towns and cities bypassed by the new line.
An HS2 spokesman told the paper: "We have considered all construction access routes as part of the development of the draft Environmental Statement... The consultation was open to all members of the public to respond.. We have sought to provide construction access with minimal disruption.
In developing the subsequent formal Environmental Statement, we will be considering how we can further reduce any adverse impacts. HS2 Ltd is still developing transport routes for the construction of the line, accordingly it is not possible to definitively say how the road network will be used."
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) is warning that life in towns and villages up to 25 miles from the rail route will be disrupted by the movement of construction vehicles while the line is being built.
The organisation is publishing its analysis of the impact of the project, in the form of a series of maps, based on information it has obtained from HS2.
According to advance details released to The Mail on Sunday, towns along a 40 mile wide corridor - such as Thame in Oxfordshire, Princes Risborough and Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, and Leamington Spa in Warwickshire - will be affected by the millions of extra lorry journeys.