Today, the Oakervee report on HS2 was leaked to the Times. The report, which was supposedly independent but was overseen by a former chairman of HS2 Ltd and was written by civil servants in the Department for Transport effectively claims that HS2 will be worth it, whatever the cost.
The good news is that this certainly will speed up when Tony Berkeley, who has today insisted on having his name removed from the report, publishes his take of HS2, which will be a lot more independent than this one was.
Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin responded:
“We always expected that a report headed by a former chair of HS2 and written by DFT civil servants would be a whitewash, but the fact it has come out the moment the Brexit Party who oppose HS2 drop out of fighting the Tory held seats along the route, proves that the review was never anything but a cynical election ploy from a Prime Minister who was worried about losing votes in his own constituency.”
“This admission that the cost of HS2 are tens of billions above budget vindicates what we and the whistle-blowers have been saying for years, and we now call on government to release all the evidence the panel received, and it is essential that the Serious Fraud Office produce an interim report, as we are concerned the next government may order them the cease their investigation into this multi-billion pound fraud.”
Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2, added:
“It comes as no surprise that the former chair of HS2 Ltd, still thinks HS2 is a good idea, in spite of the massive cost increase and years of extra delays. By trying to change the focus from Phase 1 to the sections north of Birmingham there is a tacit acknowledgement that HS2 is focusing on solving the wrong problem. But this was clear from the moment that HS2 was announced.”
“HS2 was a bad project when it was originally announced and was supposed to cost £33 billion, it was a bad project when it was supposed to cost £55 billion, and it is a bad project now the cost is expected to be more than £88billion. It should be cancelled as soon as possible, so the government can focus on the real transport priorities.”