HS2 technology “does not exist”
In their report ‘Progress with preparations for High Speed 2’ (14 September 2016) the House of Commons public accounts committee stated that HS2 Ltd told them “development of skills in the civil engineering industry required for High Speed 2 was particularly challenging because much of the technology required for the programme does not yet exist”.
And the “£55.7 billion” funding package only covers “some” of the costs of integrating High Speed 2 with the wider network.
The Department and HS2 Ltd told us that some of the costs of integrating High Speed 2 with the wider network were being met from the £55.7 billion funding package.
But what proportion is “some”?
It seems PAC have realised that HS2 cannot be built for £55.7 billion, and is unlikely to open in 2026. If they had read the Beleben blog, they might have realised that, a whole lot earlier.
We are not convinced that the timetable for delivering High Speed 2 is realistic. The Department for Transport considers the programme to be on schedule, citing the fact that it recently issued the invitations to tender for major civil engineering contracts for phase 1 on time. However, HS2 Ltd is only 60% confident that phase 1 will open in December 2026.