HS2 Action Alliance, a pressure group that is raising money to continue fighting the project through the courts, said the National Audit Office report “is a scathing indictment of the bogus case government has constructed”.
The NAO has said there is a lack of evidence on the business case for a high-speed link between London and the north. It also drew attention to a funding gap of £3bn during the planned peak of construction work.
But others said the need for HS2 is unchanged by the findings.
“There is ample evidence that passenger rail usage has risen sharply in the last fifteen years and has continued to increase even whilst the economy has been flat lining,” said Pinsent Masons transport partner Patrick Twist.
The government has hit out at the report, claiming it relies on out of date information – the same accusation levelled at the government by the NAO.