HS2 may not even reach central London due to soaring costs, report claims


he flagship High Speed 2 rail project linking London to the north may not even reach Euston station due to increasing costs, reports have claimed.

Due to soaring prices caused by inflation, HS2 bosses are now contemplating scaling back the project by delaying the completion of the Euston terminal or scrapping it completely.

The project which has already faced delays and was slated to cost between £72 billion and £98 billion in 2019, would instead terminate at Old Oak Common in west London.

From there, commuters would use the Underground or Elizabeth Line – Old Oak Common is not on the crossrail link currently – to travel into central London.

As reported by The Sun, a two to five-year delay is now being considered, although a Department for Transport spokesperson said they are committed to delivering the link-up to Manchester.

They said: “The Government remains committed to delivering HS2 to Manchester, as confirmed in the Autumn Statement.

“As well as supporting tens of thousands of jobs, the project will connect regions across the UK, improve capacity on our railways and provide a greener option of travel.”

In 2015 a £55.7 billion budget was set for the project which was supposed to connect London to Birmingham and then Manchester and Leeds. The leg connecting Sheffield and Leeds has since been scrapped.

The first leg connecting Birmingham and London is scheduled to open in 2033 but a report published last October found that the £40.3 billion budget target would be exceeded.

In 2018, the Government-commissioned Oakervee Review estimated that the final bill for HS2 could reach £106 billion (at 2019 prices).

The project has also sparked protests which saw members of the HS2 Rebellion group dig tunnels under Euston Square Gardens and occupy the space for a month.

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