The long awaited Major Projects Authority review has at long last been published: on a Friday before a bank holiday, sparking accusations of “burying bad news”.
With respect to HS2, they have given a rating of amber/red: unchanged since the first time they looked at it.
The Department for Transport defended themselves saying to the MPA
“The DfT welcomes the MPA’s examination of the HS2 programme but this is a view from June 2012 and considerable progress has been made since then.
This is very similar to what Patrick McLoughlin said about the National Audit Office review of HS2:
“…welcomed any examination of the HS2 programme”, but did “not accept the NAO’s core conclusion. This is because it depends too much on out of date analysis and does not give due weight to the good progress that has been made since last year.”
Stop HS2 think that if the situation with HS2 had improved improved as much as McLoughlin and the DfT would like people to think, they would be rushing to publish the information that confirmed this at high speed.
The situation is actually the opposite. Although the High Speed Rail (Preparation) bill promises annual reports, it defines the first financial year as ending on 31st May 2015 – two years time.
It’s clear that McLoughlin is unwilling to let people see what’s happening – because he knows that HS2 is a white elephant, behind schedule and over budget years before construction is due to start.