CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

HS2 costs ‘out of control’

There have been more than 1,000 compulsory purchase orders on Camden land that will be sold off to private developers and is believed to be worth around £7billion.

14 January, 2020 — By Tom Foot

A PEER who quit Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s review of HS2 due to concerns over “bias” has published his own report, saying MPs were “misled” over its true cost.

Labour Lord Berkeley, a former 15-year chairman of the Rail Freight Group who lives in Bloomsbury, stood down from the review in November after clashing with its chairman Doug Oakervee. He has now released a “dissenting report” warning the project’s “out of control” costs are closer to £109billion than the official £57bn.

The report said: “It is highly unlikely that, if it had been given the real cost figures by the Department of Transport, it would have passed the legislation to allow this project to proceed.”

A huge area of Euston and Regent’s Park estate has already been demolished to make way for railway lines and a new underground terminus to the west of the current station.

There have been more than 1,000 compulsory purchase orders on Camden land that will be sold off to private developers and is believed to be worth around £7billion. Works in Camden are due to last until at least 2031.

The report said scrapping the Euston section of the railway, and stopping the line from Birmingham in Old Oak Common, west London, “could save £8bn and be a perfectly good solution”. And it said there was “ample evidence” HS2 Ltd “had failed to properly address the concerns of local authorities and local people affected by HS2 works”.

An HS2 Ltd spokes­person said: “There have been many individual views ex­pressed about the HS2 project, however we await the publication of the government’s official review.”

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