The £28bn hidden cost of High Speed Rail

September 16, 2011 1:01 AM

The case for High Speed Rail (HS2) continues to unravel today as we reveal the £28 billion hidden costs of the HS2 project.

A report from the TPA shows how Ministers at the Department for Transport have made a series of pledges for HS2 to try and win public support, but they are promising things that aren't in their current plans and which would cost further billions to achieve. The report shows that the cost to taxpayers could rise from £17.1 billion to a massive £45.5 billion (an extra £28.4 billion).

Click here to read the full report


Click here for the complete press release


Reasons that costs could rise: 

  • Additional pressure on London Underground lines from Euston will make Cross Rail 2 necessary, costing at least £10 billion

  • The business case will mean many towns (Coventry and Stoke-on-Trent ) get a worse service. If the Government want to avoid this, as Theresa Villiers has pledged, they will have to spend an extra £5.4 billion

  • Mitigating the environmental effects of the line, for example by running portions of it underground, is likely to add at least £3 billion to the cost 


Revenues may be lower than expected:

  • Demand is unlikely to match the Government's expectations (this is not included in our calculations though)

  • The Government plan relies on a 27 per cent over inflation rise in fares. If that does not happen - and Philip Hammond has argued that competition will lead to reduced fares - revenue is likely to be at least £10 billion lower


Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Ministers don’t want to admit that the white elephant they’re trying to sell to the British public will mean a worse service for many passengers and relies on substantial increases in fares. They’ve been promising the world but meeting their pledges would add billions to the already frightening price tag attached to the current plans. There is no way taxpayers can afford the hidden costs of high speed rail. It would be completely unfair to heap this further burden on them at a time when taxes are rising and other areas of spending are being cut. Politicians need to be honest about the people who will lose out if high speed rail goes ahead, and the real bill taxpayers will have to pay."


Click here to read the full report


Click here for the complete press release

The case for High Speed Rail (HS2) continues to unravel today as we reveal the £28 billion hidden costs of the HS2 project.

A report from the TPA shows how Ministers at the Department for Transport have made a series of pledges for HS2 to try and win public support, but they are promising things that aren't in their current plans and which would cost further billions to achieve. The report shows that the cost to taxpayers could rise from £17.1 billion to a massive £45.5 billion (an extra £28.4 billion).

Click here to read the full report


Click here for the complete press release


Reasons that costs could rise: 

  • Additional pressure on London Underground lines from Euston will make Cross Rail 2 necessary, costing at least £10 billion

  • The business case will mean many towns (Coventry and Stoke-on-Trent ) get a worse service. If the Government want to avoid this, as Theresa Villiers has pledged, they will have to spend an extra £5.4 billion

  • Mitigating the environmental effects of the line, for example by running portions of it underground, is likely to add at least £3 billion to the cost 


Revenues may be lower than expected:

  • Demand is unlikely to match the Government's expectations (this is not included in our calculations though)

  • The Government plan relies on a 27 per cent over inflation rise in fares. If that does not happen - and Philip Hammond has argued that competition will lead to reduced fares - revenue is likely to be at least £10 billion lower


Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Ministers don’t want to admit that the white elephant they’re trying to sell to the British public will mean a worse service for many passengers and relies on substantial increases in fares. They’ve been promising the world but meeting their pledges would add billions to the already frightening price tag attached to the current plans. There is no way taxpayers can afford the hidden costs of high speed rail. It would be completely unfair to heap this further burden on them at a time when taxes are rising and other areas of spending are being cut. Politicians need to be honest about the people who will lose out if high speed rail goes ahead, and the real bill taxpayers will have to pay."


Click here to read the full report


Click here for the complete press release

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