The Chairman of National Infrastructure Commission – Sir John Armitt states that an extra £43billion should be spent on infrastructure to ‘make the most’ of HS2.
He states that the sum is needed to prevent ‘inadequate transport links’ for users of the service as HS2 was the most significant investment in our transport networks for a generation.
‘The potential impact could extend 100 years or more, and upfront costs should be considered in that context,’ he added. ‘This means we cannot simply construct a new high speed rail line and leave it at that: to get the biggest bang for our buck we need to think about the whole journey.’
He said spending more on infrastructure was not an ‘unaffordable pipe dream’, but the best way to ‘make the most of all that HS2 will have to offer’.
Last week it emerged £4.1billion had been spent before construction work has begun. Concerns are mounting, with one report suggesting the project could exceed £80billion — meaning costs could overrun by 60 per cent. Responding to ministerial criticism that bosses were not open with residents about their plans, HS2 said it was ‘working hard’ to ensure concerns ‘are understood and impacts minimised’.