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HS2 to be ‘10 times more expensive’ than French high speed rail

12 January 2015

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will this week ask HS2 Executive chairman Sir David Higgins why the expected costs for HS2 are around ten times higher per mile than the same cost for France’s high speed rail network.

The question will be part of the Lords inquiry into the economic case for HS2.

The sessions will be the last public sessions of the inquiry. They will be held on Tuesday 13 January in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords at:

            3:35pm            Sir David Higgins, Executive Chairman, HS2

            5:00pm            Jim O’Neill, Chair, Cities Growth Commission

In the first session the Committee will ask Sir David if he can ensure the cost of HS2 does not exceed the £50bn funding available.

Questions will also cover whether the estimated benefits of HS2 set out in the economic case are reliable, why Sir David believes that cutting the journey time of London to Manchester will be ‘transformative’ for the latter city and what capacity problems there are today on the West Coast Main Line.

In the second session questions will focus on Jim O’Neill and what the Cities Growth Commission found about how transport investment stimulates growth including whether better connectivity between cities in the North should be prioritised above HS2 and what other policies are needed to support economic growth in cities. The Committee will also ask whether the current proposed locations of HS2 stations, some of which are outside of city centres, will reduce the economic benefits the line will provide.