HS2 is a bottomless pit: delivering it 'under budget' might cost taxpayers £90.8 billion
Research by the TaxPayers' Alliance shows government-managed large infrastructure projects have a poor record of being delivered on budget, with some projects overrunning by up to 190 per cent.
Despite the Government’s insistence that HS2 will be delivered on budget, taxpayers should take no comfort given their appalling track record and indeed the standards they set themselves. Ministers have cited the London 2012 Olympics as evidence that they can deliver big projects to budget despite the fact that the final cost was £9.3 billion and the original budget was £2.4 billion, cost overrun by 76 per cent.
The table below shows what HS2 would cost if it goes as over budget as a variety of other transport infrastructure projects have done, with the lowest estimate putting the cost at £90.8 billion or at £99.9 billion if costs overrun to the same scale as the London Olympics.
John O'Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, says:
"It beggars belief that the Government seems set to plough ahead with the first phase of this hugely expensive vanity project. Instead, politicians should opt for smaller, more effective infrastructure projects which would actually benefit the economy and help drivers, commuters, businesses and taxpayers.
"All the evidence shows that big government projects are delivered way over budget and almost never to deadline, so to allocate tens of billions of taxpayers' money to this white elephant is a big mistake."
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