Bumping up the budget?

Some Parliamentary questions and comments on HS2  – and more hints that the cost of HS2 is set to increase.

Following the Camden New Journal article – HS2 officials put forward plan for ‘cheaper and less disruptive’ rail scheme in move that could strip Camden of £1billion investment Maria Eagle asks about costs of remodelling Euston station.

Transport questions: Euston station

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the proposed cost of the remodelling of Euston station was at the time of publication of plans for High Speed 2 between London and Birmingham; and what the current estimate is of the cost of that project. [147852]

Mr Simon Burns: The proposed base costs of plans for High Speed 2 between London and Birmingham of the remodelling of Euston station were £1,170 million (at second quarter 2011 prices) at the time of publication in January 2012.

As is normal with large infrastructure projects like HS2 we are continuing to develop and refine our designs as we learn more about issues at specific sites on the route and gain more certainty about the precise challenges we need to overcome.

There are of course challenges on budgets, but equally there are significant opportunities for the efficient delivery of HS2. HS2 Ltd is working closely with DFT, IUK and the wider industry to drive efficiencies into the delivery of HS2 including our approach to Euston station.

Prior to the submission of the Hybrid Bill later this year we will publish an updated estimate of the costs for Phase 1 of HS2.

Following on from the Independent on Sunday – “Revealed: HS2’s £33bn budget already derailed before a track is laid “ – article, MPs have been asking about HS2 costs: selection of their questions below:

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the average value of land per acre along the preferred route of phase two of High Speed 2. [147184]

Mr Simon Burns: HS2 Ltd’s published costs and risk model report sets out an estimate of the land costs along the preferred route of phase two of £870 million. This estimate will evolve over time as our proposals for phase two are developed following consultation later this year.

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department’s calculation is of the cost per mile of the building of phase two of High Speed 2. [147186]

Mr Simon Burns: As detailed in the January 2013 Command Paper “High Speed Rail: Investing in Britain’s Future—Phase Two: The route to Leeds, Manchester and beyond”, the Government’s initial preferred route, station and depot options for Phase Two are now estimated at around £16.8 billion, without the spur to Heathrow. This includes allowances for risk and optimism bias.

The length of the Western Leg of Phase 2 is 95 miles, and the Eastern Leg, 116 miles.

..

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what additional budget has been allocated to HS2 Limited to support changes to the High Speed 2 Phase One design specification since January 2012; and if he will make a statement; [147305]

(2) what additional budget has been allocated to HS2 Limited to support mitigation proposals for High Speed 2 Phase One since January 2012; and if he will make a statement; [147306]

(3) whether the total cost of the High Speed 2 Phase One preferred line of route has increased in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [147307]

Mr Simon Burns: The previous Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), published estimated costs for Phase One at the time of announcing her decision to proceed with HS2, in January 2012. These were early stage estimates, and HS2 Ltd are continuing to refine designs in more detail to take account of site survey and other locally-specific issues as well as developing thinking on how future services and systems will operate.

Cost estimates are continuing to evolve as a consequence of this work, and the Department is working closely with HS2 Ltd to ensure that robust cost controls are in place throughout this process.

Overall cost estimates will be updated to inform the Estimate of Expense deposited with the hybrid Bill later in 2013.

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