“Zero Chance” of HS2 coming in on budget with “Zero Capacity” released, expert tells Lords

HS2 has suffered another blow as yet another rail expert has raised serious concerns over the project in Parliament (video below). Chris Stokes, an independent rail consultant who was previously a director at British Rail and an executive director at the Strategical Rail Authority, told the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee:

“There is probably close to a zero chance of HS2 being built within the £56bn ceiling, unless there are changes of scope”,

He went on to destroy one of the key fundamental arguments for building HS2, claiming that:

“The amount of additional train path capacity that HS2 brings to the North of England is pretty much zero”

In response to a question from Lord Forsyth, Mr. Stokes said the chances of HS2 being on budget were “probably close to zero”, unless the specifications of the project were scaled back. Reiterating what former HS2 Ltd chairman Sir Terry Morgan had told them last month, the areas he said could be scaled back were the number of trains that could be run, the speed of trains on high speed two could be cut, or the number of cities HS2 would serve along with big chunks of the route could cut, in an attempt to reduce costs.

Stokes also pointed out that the idea that HS2 would free up masses of capacity on existing lines, by getting rid of the existing London services and replacing them with commuting trains is spurious, pointing out that only two trains arrive in Manchester from London in the morning peak:

“One of those trains goes via Stoke and Macclesfield, and it’s not full of people who left Euston at 6.30, it’s full of people from Stoke and Macclesfield. The other train goes via Crewe and Wilmslow, and it’s full of people from Crewe to Wilmslow. Those trains would have to run anyway. The position with Leeds is exactly the same, and the amount of additional train path capacity that HS2 brings to the North of England is pretty much zero.”

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin responded:

“Demonstrating the argument that HS2 is needed to ‘release capacity’ is false is a hammer blow that removes a fundamental pillar which has been propping up the ever crumbling case for HS2. For years, HS2 has been sold on this idea that it frees up capacity, but for thousands of commuters that could only ever mean losing the trains they currently use and getting a worse service, or even no service at all as a result.”

“Everyone in the whole country knows that HS2 cannot and will not be delivered to budget. The problem is that while there is a zero chance of HS2 being delivered on budget, there is also a zero chance of Chris Grayling ever having the guts to admit it.”

,
One comment to ““Zero Chance” of HS2 coming in on budget with “Zero Capacity” released, expert tells Lords”
  1. This is all very predictable, however, what is needed is for a leading member of the Cabinet to become more vocal in opposing HS2, e.g. Liz Truss. Otherwise, we know from previous experience that Mrs. May’s listening consists of sticking her fingers in her ears.

Comments are closed.

2010-2019 © STOP HS2 – The national campaign against High Speed Rail 2