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HS2 costs savaged from Left and Right after "most expensive railway in the world" claim

Lee Baker
17 July 2017

A website associated with Jeremy Corbyn has denounced HS2 for having costs that have "now officially spiraled out-of-control" after Andrew Gilligan, former advisor to Boris Johnson claimed in The Sunday Times that costs have risen to £403m per mile.

Gilligan, wrote that the report by Michael Byng, commissioned by the Rail Delivery Group to work out how much money was needed for the section of the railway from Euston to Old Oak Common, said it would be £8.25bn, and asserted that the DfT had asked that if 6.6 miles had this cost, "what chance have we got of getting to Birmingham?" The Sunday Times claims that this would mean the total cost would be double the official estimate, or £104bn in total, and that Byng told the newspaper that this was due to the fact the UK is a "heavily populated, property-owning democracy [where] people have rights and are prepared to stand up for them".

The Canary website, leaping on the reported claim from Byng that HS2 would "is certainly the most expensive railway in the world," said this came "at a time when the NHS and social care are underfunded, public sector staff are being denied a pay rise, education budgets are being cut and disabled people are having their human rights 'gravely' and 'systematically' violated" whilst the right-leaning Institute of Economic Affairs also used the report to step up its attacks on the scheme on social media. The Government had, however, responded to The Sunday Times that the project was "on time and on budget".

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