High Speed 2’s chief engineer last week pledged that the scheme could cost as little as £25bn, rather than the often quoted £32.7bn figure.
Speaking at the conference, High Speed Two Ltd technical director Andrew McNaughton said that his team prefer to think of High Speed 2 as a £25bn project, with none of the £8bn earmarked as optimism bias added to it.
“We have no intention of going near [the £8bn],” he said.
But he stated that it could only be delivered to budget if there were no changes to the scope in future.
McNaughton added that the scheme was on a tight timescale but that this was its “biggest friend” in helping it remain on time and on budget.