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The compellingly poor case for HS2

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Yesterday (20 July 2020), the Department for Transport published the High Speed 2 (HS2) Phase One: accounting officer assessments from the period March to December 2019.

This follows the recommendation of the House of Commons public accounts committee, in its report ‘High Speed 2: Spring 2020 update’ (17 May 2020) that, “The Department must publish the summaries of its Accounting Officer assessments for all projects and programmes in line with HM Treasury guidance, including those already made and future assessments on High Speed Two.”

Department for Transport, HS2 phase one, accounting officer assessment of 23 July 2019, VfM (extract)

[Department for Transport, HS2 phase one, accounting officer assessment of 23 July 2019, VfM (extract)]

The value-for-money case for the HS2 programme compared against alternative schemes remained compelling. For Phase One in isolation, measuring cost to go against the funding envelope produced a BCR of between 0.9 and 1.0 including WEIs; this is considered ‘poor’ value for money.

However, the enabling nature of the Phase One scheme means that the value for money position for the ‘Full Y’ HS2 scheme remained intact.

Despite this, the value for money category fell to ‘low’ (BCR of 1.3 including WEIs).

'Bernadette Kelly became Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport on 18 April 2017'

Official Parliamentary Portrait of Nusrat Ul-Ghani, who was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport from 9 January 2018 to 13 February 2020

Written by beleben

July 21, 2020 at 11:56 am

Posted in HS2

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