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Campaigners criticise HS2 consultation figures

Campaign group Stop HS2 has said that official High Speed 2 (HS2) consultation documents do not reflect the cost of linking HS2 to Heathrow airport − said to be at least £7.3bn.

The group said that a report by Arup, obtained by the Uxbridge Gazette newspaper, shows that the cost of linking HS2 to Heathrow airport will range from £7.3bn to £8.7bn.

Transport secretary Philip Hammond ordered the addition of the Heathrow link to the original plan, but the £32.2bn cost of the Y network which has gone out to public consultation was not updated to reflect this, Stop HS2 said this week.

Stop HS2 co-founder Joe Rukin said: “For some reason the costs that this government put forward when it launched the HS2 public consultation in February were the same costs that the last government originally put forward in March 2010, despite the fact Hammond had added the links to Heathrow and HS1.

“The addition of the Heathrow costs put the cost of the Y network up to a minimum of £39.5bn, but of course we still don’t know the cost of the link to HS1 which will involve tunnelling under North London.”

However, an HS2 spokesman denied that the costs would be so high. “The cost of a line to Heathrow is included in the £32bn estimated cost of the proposed high speed rail network linking London to Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester,” he said. “We have said that the cost of the Heathrow link would be £2.5bn to £3.9bn. These figures are set out in an HS2 factsheet called Connecting to Heathrow that is freely available on the consultation website.”

For more on the HS2 Heathrow document click here.


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