Oakervee review “strongly advises against cancelling” HS2

Published by Scott Challinor on February 1st 2020, 8:08am

The government commissioned Oakervee review into HS2 “strongly advises against cancelling” the high-speed rail project.

The review also determined that it did not “make sense” in terms of value for money to build only Phase One of the line, which is planned to link London with Birmingham.

The full HS2 network is planned to run beyond the West Midlands to link Manchester and Leeds to the capital.

The government will make a final decision on the fate of the project in February, but it is unlikely that they will renege on the outcome of the review after it was personally commissioned by prime minister Boris Johnson.

Furthermore, chancellor Sajid Javid has already pledged his support to HS2 despite rising costs.

The review says that the project, which has already faced criticism for its financial implications, could now cost double the 2015 estimate of £56 billion.

HS2 Ltd admitted in the summer of 2019 that the project was already running £30 billion over budget.

The Oakervee review says that the project may cost more than £100 billion in total, but advised against scrapping it on the grounds that it will benefit the UK transport network and there were no other “shovel-ready” alternative upgrades to existing links.

The review also warned of the impact that ending the project would have on the construction sector.

Further work on the Phase One link is ready to begin, with £9 billion already having been spent on upgrades at stations in Euston, Solihull and central Birmingham.

The review recommended that Phase One work should proceed as planned, but has suggested more work be done to develop plans for Phase Two, including further clarity on the impact it could have on homes, local economies and jobs.

The Phase One link is scheduled to open at the end of 2026, with Phase Two set to be ready by 2032-33.

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Authored By

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
February 1st 2020, 8:08am

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