John Armitt on HS2 costs
On BBC Radio 4 Start The Week (19 September 2016) Robert Harris, John Armitt, and Margaret Hodge talked infrastructure with Andrew Marr. On the programme, Mr Armitt said that HS2 is costing about 50% more per-mile than other high speed rail projects around the world, and ‘there are reasons why it is costing 50% more’.
Is HS2 ‘just’ 50% more expensive than other high speed rail? According to Lloyd’s Register and BSL Management Consultants (2009), the normalised cost of HS1 was well over 100% more than the second-most-expensive, in a sample of high speed lines.
What about HS2? On a per-mile basis, it comes out considerably more expensive than HS1 (as chairman David Higgins has admitted).
So, on the information available,
* John Armitt is completely mistaken about HS2 being ‘only 50% more expensive than other lines’
* HS2 appears to be easily the most expensive high speed railway in the world.