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And in the Budget, tucked in the detail….

Yesterday’s Budget speech by George Osborne had some important things to say – such as the cut to beer duty. He even spoke about additional infrastructure spending: the promise of an extra £15 billion in the next Government.

But what he didn’t say was anything about HS2. The £15 billion sounds like a huge sum, but it is less than the cost of building HS2 between London and Birmingham.

To go ahead with HS2 is a major commitment, not just by the current government, but for the next four governments. With no intermediate stations on the first phase, to get any use out of HS2 means building all the tracks between London and Birmingham. That’s currently expected to cost about £17 billion: adding the section north of Birmingham roughly doubles that.

With such a commitment for this government and the next four governments, it might deserve a mention in the Chancellor’s speech. But it was strangely absent.

Even in the “Infrastructure Delivery Update“, describing the Top 40 priority projects, HS2 was not mentioned until halfway through the document: other projects, such as the privately funded Heathrow Terminal 2, and Crossrail (over 60% funded by Londoners and London businesses) were highlighted in the summary at the start.

From the document:

High Speed TwoWork is continuing to carry out environmental impact surveys along the line of the route.
The announcement on Phase 2 (north of Birmingham) initial preferred route and station options was made in January 2013, in preparation for formal consultation later in the year.
Consultation on the draft Environmental Impact Assessment is due to launch in spring 2013.
Phase 2 consultation has been brought forward ahead of schedule and is due to be launched in summer 2013.
Deposit of a Paving Bill in Parliament to fast-track the £32 billion project.

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5 comments to “And in the Budget, tucked in the detail….”
  1. Also tucked away…
    On the Monday of Budget Week, there was a report (but not widely reported) of a £2 billion investment in aerospace research which would generate 115,000 jobs. Compare that to HS2 costing £32 billion or more and generating 59,000 jobs.

    what a government!

    • Steph well spotted I do agree with you .they will have more jobs than people .but just think of all the people coming from the east block.to fill these jobs .as for our people they say just shut up it is progress so give up your history countryside wildlife homes graves and business

  2. Interesting that the Budget saw the introduction of a Government Mortgage Guarantee Scheme of up to £ 130 Billion. Half the commentators think this is bonkers and half the commentators think it’s a great idea.

    But having established this principle, and given the enforced rerun of the Compensation Consultation, it is hard to see how the Government can ignore calls for a £ 20 Billion Property Compensation Bond Scheme. If the Government really believes that blight is a transient matter they don’t have anything to fear.

      • Totally agree
        Why waste yet more money on another consultation when it is so simple –nobody should suffer any financial loss just because they happen to live in the vicinity of the line

        Govt must develop the mechanism to deliver this result

        This is not compensation but entitlement

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