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HS2 claims third of government rail budget

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A third of the government’s £6.4bn support for rail in 2017/ 18 was spent on High Speed 2 (HS2).

The spending was revealed in figures published in the Office of Rail and Road’s Annual Statistical Release.

Of the £6.4bn funding, £4.2bn was given as direct rail support to Network Rail, £2.1bn given to HS2, £297M to “other” projects and £5M to  passenger transport executives (PTEs). PTEs are the strategic transport bodies serving the six largest city regions outside London.

The £6.4bn is £601M higher than in 2016/ 17.

According to the statistics, government support peaked in 2006/ 07 (£7.7bn after being adjusted for inflation), but has since fallen by 16.9%.

The report also says that a net total of £1.3bn had been invested by private companies during 2017/18, an increase of 36.1% on the previous year.

Of this, the report reveals £1bn had been invested in rolling stock which represented the highest value recorded.

Private investment in stations during 2017/18 was £72M, accounting for 5.6% of total private investment. This was the highest amount invested since 2007/08.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I do not think HS2 as currently designed would pass any realistic cost benefit analysis. On this basis alone it should be drastically re-planned, as a practical solution to a capacity problem, instead of a "we must have a fast train" vanity project. The other real problem is the lack of connection with HS1. I know that Euston to St Pancras is not far, but for travelers with large suitcases, even the short underground journey would be difficult.
    Don't kill the idea of a new route to the North & Scotland, but it must be more re-thought.

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  • HS2 has always lacked ambition. The lack of a slow line in each direction reduced the local benefit, not dissimilar to not buying enough land for additional carriageways when we originally built our motorways. An expensive mistake. The lack of a same station connection to HS1 is just repeating the pain of Paris. The other missed opportunity has been the failure to build two new airports north of London and Birmingham and putting the majority of the population on a single rail and air transport system and have missed a vital opportunity to reduce our emissions through better public transport. 200 miles from Manchester/Liverpool to London is the most important corridor we have we need flexibility in the future. We should learn from the past.

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