TaxPayers' Alliance warns prime minister that HS2 costs to 'rise further still'

For immediate release

On the eve of the government's decision on the future of HS2, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) has warned the prime minister that the project is likely to come off the rails.

In a personal letter to the PM, TPA chief executive John O'Connell lays out that the eventual costs, including associated expenditure and rolling stock, may be closer to £150 billion.

In February 2017 the TaxPayers' Alliance estimated the cost of HS2 at between £90.8 billion and £99.9 billion. This prediction was proved correct when the HS2 Ltd Chairman's Stocktake put the price at £88 billion in 2019 prices.

Having long campaigned for HS2 to be scrapped, the TPA have identified 28 local and national transport projects across the country which could be funded for a fraction of the cost, to provide better value for money and more directly benefit provincial English towns in the Midlands and North. 

The TPA is calling on MPs to ensure that critical consideration is given to a realistic cost of the project, the difficulties in delivery and implications for both ‘left behind towns’ and the environment. 

Click here to read the full letter


Key points: 

  • The initial and official cost estimates have been consistently wrong. Eventual costs could be closer to £150 billion.

  • HS2 is the only major project to have received seven Amber/Red warnings in a row since 2013 from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority .

  • The benefit-cost ratio could be as low as 0.78.

  • The official HS2 business case shows that almost half, 43 per cent, of the benefits go to London and the South East.

  • Claims that sunk costs total £11 billion are over-inflated, based on assumptions about land sales and the value of existing contracts. A more realistic figure is in the region of £6 billion.

  • A national program of transport investment would be better value for money and would more directly benefit provincial English towns in the Midlands and North.

  • The Great British Transport Competition selected 28 winning transport projects. The sum total of their construction costs came to £45.1 billion, approximately half the cost of HS2.

Click here to read the full letter

 

TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)

Media contact:

Harry Fone

Grassroots Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
harry.fone@taxpayersalliance.com
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)

  1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, and now with 80,000 supporters, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) fights to reform taxes, reduce spending and protect taxpayers. Find out more about the TaxPayers' Alliance at www.taxpayersalliance.com.

  2. TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.

  3. In February 2017 the TaxPayers' Alliance estimated the cost of HS2 at between £90.8 billion and £99.9 billion

  4. The TaxPayers' Alliance launched The Great British Transport Competition to find alternative transport infrastructure projects that deliver better value for money.