MP calls on government to release details of critical HS2 report

Before and after: View of HS2 looking towards Wendover Dean
Before and after: View of HS2 looking towards Wendover Dean
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Aylesbury’s MP has joined calls for more detail to be released from a report which said HS2 is in doubt.

David Lidington has written to the Cabinet Office voicing concerns about the lack of information in a recent Major Projects Authority report.

Last month the £32 billion scheme was given an amber/red rating, which means the project is ‘in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas’ and requiring ‘urgent action’ to solve the problems.

However, there was no explanation why this rating was given.

A similar review gave HS2 the same rating in November 2011, but again there was no more detail.

Earlier this week, the Information Commissioner ruled that the full 2011 review must be released – but made no decision on the more recent report.

Campaigners hope this ruling will mean all subsequent reports by the authority will also be released in full.

Writing to cabinet office minister Francis Maude about the latest report, Mr Lidington said: “I am afraid that the lack of detail has reinforced fears locally that the Cabinet Office and Department for Transport have something to hide concerning HS2.

“Since the Information Commissioner has now ruled that the MPA report on HS2 should be released, there is a strong expectation among my constituents that this should be done without delay.

“I hope very much that you will act on the Information Commissioner’s findings.

“Doing so would not end the opposition to HS2 in Buckinghamshire, but would demonstrate that the Government was being open about its analysis.”

When the latest report was issued, the DfT said the rating was based on old information.

Anti-HS2 groups have accused HS2 Ltd and the Government of trying to cover up the truth about the project.