The Government’s decision on whether to go ahead with HS2 is to be delayed until next month after the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the decision was to do with capacity rather than speed.

The High Speed line which will connect London and Birmingham to the North is being reviewed by the Government.

Chaired by Doug Oakervee found that the likely cost of HS2 was £86bn. However, it heard evidence from witness suggesting the cost could rise to £106bn, and although the inquiry did not endorse this view a leak to the Financial Times led to headlines suggesting HS2 “could cost” the higher sum.

Shapps told Sky News:

“Capacity is the issue. What we are going to have to do is whether it’s HS2 or other means is increase capacity. I’ve got the draft report.

“Now we are actually pulling in the rest of the data to see what are the other alternatives in terms of cost and what capacity it would bring us. We will be making that decision in February along with the prime minister and the chancellor.”


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