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Treasury Committee reveals HS2 'serious shortcomings'
'SERIOUS shortcomings' have been found in the HS2 economic case by an influential group of MPs.
The Treasury Select Committee this week joined the growing list of organisations to call for the controversial project to be re-examined before it is presented to Parliament later this year.
Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie said a planned Bill should not proceed until a full review of the scheme's finances had been carried out.
The Conservative said: "There appear to be serious shortcomings in the current cost-benefit analysis for HS2. The economic case must be looked at again.
"The Bill should not proceed until this work has been done and the project has been formally reassessed by the government. At £42.6billion, including a large contingency reserve, the construction cost of the project has increased by 17 per cent even before it has started.
"It is a huge infrastructure project. A more convincing economic case for the project is needed. We need reassurance that it can deliver the benefits intended and that these benefits are greater than those of other transport schemes – whether in the department’s project pipeline or not – which may be foregone."
Already this year the Public Accounts Committee and National Audit Office have criticised the economic case for HS2.
Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin said in response to the Select Committee's findings: "Yet again an independent assessment of HS2 gives it the red light. The Treasury Select Committee think the case for HS2 doesn’t hold water and they are right.
"They are just another body in a very long list of bodies who are right, who have come at this from no other point than making sure taxpayers' money isn’t wasted, and they have seen that the case for HS2 has been cooked.
"What we will have following this report is a load of proponents, who know nothing except that they have to defend HS2, saying that the West Coast Mainline is full and HS2 will heal the North-South divide, despite the fact that those arguments, and every argument for HS2 can be knocked down with a feather. The only thing keeping this Whitehall elephant alive is political pride and vanity. It really should be put out of its misery before it suffers too much."
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