Lord Adonis has warned that future infrastructure projects such as Crossrail 2 and Crossrail for the North depend on Heathrow expansion and HS2 coming in “on time and on budget”.
The former NIC chair urged industry representatives to “make these projects a success” or risk future infrastructure projects being canned.
Speaking at NEC users’ group annual seminar, Lord Adonis said that the industry has a “responsibility to the public” to avoid delays and overspending on major projects.
“The single biggest threat to HS2 is not political, it is if it overruns in terms of time and money,” he said. “If HS2 overruns by millions and takes years longer than planned then there will never be a HS3 or HS4 and we may never even get HS2 up to Manchester.
“If you can make HS2 a success then it improves the case for other projects such a Crossrail 2.
“Likewise, we need a Crossrail of the North that connects Newcastle, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.
“But decisions on all of these schemes will be taken on whether HS2 is seen as a success or a failure. If it is a success there will be a massive uprising from politicians to back future schemes.”
Adonis’ comments come after New Civil Engineer revealed that the design phase for HS2 civil works had been delayed by eight months after initial costs came in around £1bn over budget.
The former transport secretary also threw his support behind Heathrow’s third runway, a scheme he first approved a decade ago when in government.
Saying that he would be “very surprised” if the scheme is not approved, Adonis again said that the outcome of the project would have a heavy bearing on future infrastructure projects.
“[Heathrow expansion] needs to be a success. It is a massive project and I urge you to make sure it works on time and efficiently, so that there isn’t massive disruption,” he said.
“Doing projects on time and on budget is the only way that people like me can make a case for more infrastructure projects in the future.”
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