A former insider at rail project HS2 has said that the early land and property cost estimate considered by MPs was “enormously wrong”.
HS2’s chairman Sir Terry Morgan resigned from the project this month after cost overruns at another project he chaired, Crossrail.
However, Morgan hinted that HS2 could face similar problems.
Now former head of land and property at HS2 Doug Thornton has told the BBC that early cost estimates were wildly inaccurate.
He said not only was the value of many properties underestimated but the company knew it might need thousands more than had been anticipated in that early estimate.
“There was a gap of almost 100 per cent in terms of the numbers, wrong numbers of properties that the organisation had not budgeted for,” he said.
The chief executive of HS2, Mark Thurston, said: “It’s perfectly normal that in a scheme as vast and as complex as HS2, that over time we have a greater understanding of the alignment of the route, how many land parcels and land areas it affects and what the full extent of the acquisition programme needs to be.”