Brexit on the way, but no rethink on HS2.

Whilst Theresa May has now announced that Article 50 will be triggered next week, it seems no attention whatsoever has been paid to what Brexit could mean to HS2.

There is of course the rather obvious point to make that there may apparently be a cost of about £50bn for leaving the EU, and we can think of somewhere they could find £50-odd billion, though why you have to pay to leave a club is something that doesn’t make sense to us.

HS2 Ltd attempt to forecast electricity price rises

HS2 Ltd attempt to forecast electricity price rises

Another question is whether or not anyone has paid any attention to rising prices and how that would impact the cost of building and operating HS2, but as the original HS2 forecast was that the cost of electricity will go up until 2029, and then never, ever go up again, this seems increasingly unlikely.

The thing that everyone seems to have missed however is that there could be a considerable cost saving in waiting until Brexit is completed, before starting to build HS2. The reason is that currently, EU regulations dictate pretty much every aspect of how HS2 should be built.

While a lot of these things may be sensible and for good reason, there is one particular stipulation that stands out as really jacking up the costs, the tunnel specifications.

HS1 tunnel in Kent

The EU now dictates that rail tunnels in the case of HS2 must be twin bore, i.e. each track has to have its’ own tunnel. Those of you who use railways may well have noticed that a lot of tunnels of the UK rail network allow for two or even more tracks, most relevantly in this case, with HS1 in Kent.

So with tunnels accounting for a large proportion of the costs of HS2, waiting until Brexit has completed would save billions. Maybe in the two years it would take for Brexit to conclude, someone might like to sit down and decide whether HS2 is the best idea after all.

But maybe that would be a bit too sensible, and not at all what the vested interest lobbyists from the construction industry want……

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3 comments on “Brexit on the way, but no rethink on HS2.
  1. Which MPs and Councillors will join with the really suffering public to present to Prime Minister May a request to use debt for HS2 for local and regional public services and improvements please.

    The shortages and deficiencies in the public services are biting on all communities including those along the HS2 Route.

    Can the local education, health, social care and councils join together to plead for suspension of the HS2 project for more affordable improvements and additional school, health, social care spending.

    The priority of HS2 can be questioned as cuts in other projects and services become long term.

    Can you organise your local public services and Councillors and MPs to plead for change. Thank you.

  2. If Guido Fawkes reports on this why aren’t the national media

    ‘The half a billion pound HS2 conflict of interest row is generating such concern that Guido hears a crisis board meeting has been called today. As the spotlight shines on the board to protect the taxpayer from a legal challenge over the £170 million contract awarded to construction firm CH2M, Guido can report on yet another conflict of interest…

    Not only is HS2 Ltd’s current CEO Mark Thurston a former CH2M employee. Not only is HS2 Ltd’s previous CEO Roy Hill a former CH2M employee. Now HS2 Ltd’s former chief of staff Chris Reynolds has been hired by… CH2M! Specifically as programme director for the development partner contract. Industry journal Construction News says this raises further questions about HS2 handing a massive taxpayer-funded contract to a firm that then hired its chief of staff. The revolving door spins ever faster, something for the HS2 board to discuss at their meeting today…’

  3. Cause of significant misery for many people, farmers and families and communities. The MPs and Councillors need leadership to argue for the real priorities and to change the attitudes of it is too late to we must get best value for each £1Million and local usefulness and needed services for each £1Billion.

    There is still the need to change from HS2 to more manageable rail projects.

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