Responding to the Transport Secretary’s updated projected costs and timescales for HS2, High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL) commented:

“A major infrastructure project of this nature will have its timescales and costs updated periodically, and this has not happened on HS2 since 2015.

“It is welcome that this updated information has been clarified, and we are encouraged by the Transport Secretary’s comments that the benefits of the scheme must not be obscured. We must not lose sight of the importance of HS2 to the mission of joining up Britain. The scheme has already created 9,000 jobs, and will help reduce the 40% productivity gap between London and the north. The project is essential, and irreplaceable, to the Government’s goal of fixing the north-south divide which has beset Britain for generations. Already, it has triggered massive new private investment in Birmingham, and plans are well advanced in cities like Manchester and Leeds too. All of this would be scuppered by any decision to cancel or curtail HS2.”