A previously unpublished report by HS2 engineers ARUP shows that the cost of linking HS2 to Heathrow Airport will range from £7.3bn to £8.7bn, a cost which has not been included in the official HS2 Consultation documents. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond demanded that the Heathrow link was added to the original plan as set out by the previous Labour Government, but despite the addition of this link the £32.2bn cost of the ‘Y’ network which has gone out to public consultation of was not updated to include either the addition of the Heathrow link or the link to HS1. In fact, all costs as presented in the HS2 consultation are still set on third quarter 2009 prices, despite the fact the DfT updated the official cost of Rail Package 2, the main alternative, just this month.
The report, obtained by the Uxbridge Gazette details eleven options for the route along with three options for stations at Iver; Heathrow Terminal 5; and the mysteriously named ‘Heathrow North’.
Kenilworth Stop HS2 Action Group Chair and co-founder of the national body Stop HS2, Joe Rukin said;
“We have been expecting this news for a long time. For some reason the costs that this Government put forward when it launched the HS2 Public Consultation in February were the same costs that the last Government originally put forward in March 2010, despite the fact Mr Hammond had added the links to Heathrow and HS1. The addition of the Heathrow costs put the cost of the Y network up to a minimum of £39.5bn, but of course we still don’t know the cost of the link to HS1 which will involve tunnelling under North London.”
“This is typical of the errors and omissions we have come to expect from HS2. How the Government could go to public consultation knowing full well that the baseline of costs is going to be at least ten billion short is beyond me. This just one more thing that shows that Mr Hammond doesn’t care about the facts of the case and doesn’t care about misleading the taxpayer, he just wants his shiny new train set. The case for HS2 is collapsing around his ears and that is why that if he cannot do the descent thing and scrap the project, he should at least do the honourable thing and call a public inquiry.”
The Uxbridge Gazette article can be found at http://www.uxbridgegazette.co.uk/west-london-news/high-speed-rail/2011/05/11/gazette-reveals-hs2-heathrow-options-113046-28677661/