“No private funding … for HS2”

Q 48823: Grant Shapps (Conservative, Welwyn Hatfield) on 17th October 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much private funding has been secured for the High Speed 2 project from major corporate beneficiaries to date.

A Answered by Andrew Jones Answered on: 25 October 2016
No private funding contributions have been secured for HS2 to date.

This written answer was given on Tuesday, the same day as the major announcement from the Department for Transport that a third runway Heathrow airport was given the go ahead. And the finances are also in clear contrast. The official announcement was clear on who was paying for the new airport costs: “Expansion costs will be paid for by the private sector, not by the taxpayer.”

One might argue that airports costs are inherently different to railways, but the funding of HS2 also stands in contrast to the funding of both Crossrail and HS1.

Crossrail says that “Over 60% of Crossrail’s funding will come from  Londoners and London businesses”, also adding that “Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd has agreed to a £70 million funding package.”

(In 2014 Crossrail had a funding envelope of £14.8bn.)

HS1 is even more starkly in contrast – the original Channel Tunnel Act 1987 had a subsection entitled “No government funds or guarantees for the tunnel system”, and allowed for “any person who has suffered, or may suffer, loss in consequence of it may bring an action against the Minister or department concerned” if they had allowed government funds to be used. While the actuality turned out differently, the desire was there that the government shouldn’t pay for it.

Instead, HS2 is entirely funded by the taxpayer, with the High Speed Rail Preparation Act allowing unlimited spending – and even the current CEO of HS2 simultaneously being a director of the lead contractors on one of the HS2 contracts.

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3 comments to ““No private funding … for HS2””
  1. If we wish to be a first-rate country thriving outside the EU we cannot afford to have second-rate infrastructure. Sir David Higgins, chairman of HS2

    So now it’s because of brexit but he seems to be unaware of the irony as at best hs2 is old fashioned,expensive,ill conceived 5th rate infrastructure

  2. What a sad state of governance emerging from HOL select committee. LACKS discretion lacks understanding. Believing cut and paste HS2 documented vague unproven text and hairbrushed diagrams of undetailed engineering. UK people deserve better than a mouldy charade, walking into a disaster of titanic impact on UK debts. Out of depth and off the wall approach
    Better ditch this wasteful Gravyling train and in a rut man approach by civil servants with no sense of what is not affordable.

  3. HS2 is of no interest to investors. Off the balance sheet assurances not costed, many local interfaces not funded. Local Authorities cannot afford full delegated costs. Select Committee hearing hyped views from Promoter and members trying to encourage victims to seek innovated funding to reduce HS2 payouts. They are not realising the nation does not have the means to afford the pipedreams of Cameron and Osborne and Adonis and Hoon. Wrong project carry on petitioning and the Government will lose your taxes at the Select Committee casino. Lost their chips and really it is the fault of the Civil Servants and their make believe MPs with little real experience in projects of this scale.

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