HS2 ‘in doubt’, says government report

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The government’s Major Projects Authority has given the £32 billion scheme an amber/red rating in its annual report.

This rating is given to projects that are considered ‘in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas’ and requiring ‘urgent action’ to solve the problems.

It is the latest in a series of damning reports about HS2, with the National Audit Office recently identifying a £3 billion black hole in the project and casting doubt on its economic benefits.

The same rating was given to HS2 when the projects authority first looked at the scheme, suggesting little progress has been made in solving its problems.

Nearly 200 projects have been assessed by the authority.

The Department for Transport said the HS2 rating was based on old information and that progress has been made, a similar response as given by the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin MP, to the audit office report.

Stop HS2 accused the Government of trying to cover up the truth about the project.

The group said: “It’s clear that McLoughlin is unwilling to let people see what’s happening, because he knows that HS2 is a white elephant, behind schedule and over budget years before construction is due to start.”

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said large-scale projects such as HS2 are often rated amber/red in their early stages.

She said: “This reflects risks which we do not control but as the report shows we are taking the right action.

“It is not a comment on the value for money of the project which we are clear is an unparalleled opportunity to generate jobs, rebalance the economy and secure the country’s future prosperity.”