This morning the Davies Airports Commission published a report jettisoning the idea of the “Boris Island” (Inner Thames Estuary [ITE]) airport. The report includes discussion of HS1 and HS2 and the ways they have been included in reaching their conclusions.
Access to any airport is a key requirement. The plans for Boris Island included rail links from HS1, and had suggestions that the proposed HS1-HS2 link could form part of the wider surface access routes. But today’s report points out Higgins ‘HS2 plus’ has already rejected building the HS1-HS2 link.
The Airports Commission report explains that there are several costly infrastructure plans which would be being built at the same time, limiting the amount of money available for building other infrastructure. The report says “HS2, which would be under construction during the same period as any ITE airport, at £42.6bn for construction costs and £7.5bn for rolling stock.”
But it’s not just the current expected cost of HS2 which was relevant to the Commission. They point out that the expected costs of HS2 have risen massively from January 2012, when the expected construction cost of HS2 was £33bn, to the current cost estimate of £42.6.
But when it comes down to it, the Boris Island plan was rejected because it is a vanity project which in spite of many reports by promoters of the scheme, was incredibly expensive with no business case and a disastrous impact on the environment.
Just like HS2.