HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson said today he is concerned about the rate at which the railway project’s rising costs are soaring.
Stephenson reported that HS2 had taken a further £500m between September 2021 and January 2022, in addition to the £5.6bn contingency funds. He added that the project’s “potential cost pressures” have gone up by £400m, from £1.3bn to £1.7bn.
The overall budget for HS2’s phase one – which will connect London and Birmingham – has remained £44.6bn and it is expected to be completed between 2029 and 2033.
“Since my last report, the aggregate increase in actual and potential additional costs is therefore £0.9 billion,” he wrote in the latest six month progress update to Parliament.
“Whilst these pressures are manageable within the target cost given the remaining contingency, I am nonetheless concerned at the rate of their increase. I expect HS2 Ltd to maintain its focus on delivery to the target cost.”
The exponential increase is due to additional design costs, and development difficulties at Euston.
The rail company unveiled the newest designs for the station just last week, seven years after they were shown to the public, City A.M. reported.
Under the new plan, Euston will be a 10-station platform and run 17 trains per hour, despite concerns from other stakeholders such as Transport for London.
“We undertook modelling as part of the study earlier in the year and we’re confident we can manage 17 trains four hour service with a high level of performance,” said HS2’s Euston area client director Laurence Whitbourn.