Parliament hasn’t even returned from recess, yet the case for HS2 is already being questioned.
Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, has today written to the Secretary of State for Transport. His letter asks for clarification on a number of issues outlined in the Department for Transport’s updated economic case for HS2, published in November 2016. His letter is a continuation of correspondence Tyrie has previously had with Grayling over the case for HS2.
Commenting on the correspondence, Tyrie said:
“The Department claims that it has been underestimating the growth in passenger demand in support of the economic case for HS2.
The Transport Secretary needs to explain why the latest projection for growth in demand will be any more reliable than its predecessor. Over the last seven years we’ve had six of these – each different.
Without this latest data, the business case suggests that the project will deliver low value for money, according to the Department’s own guidance. In other words, HS2 would scarcely be worth the candle.
In the last Parliament, the Treasury Committee examined the proposals for HS2. A lack of rigour in the economic case was manifest. On the basis of the evidence provided so far, many people remain to be convinced that the £55bn projected costs for HS2 offers better value for money than a lower speed, lower cost alternative.”
Andrew Tyrie’s letter can be downloaded here.