A leaked document, seen by the Times, recommends that the government commit to the full high-speed rail network despite the cost having risen to £88b

The publication of the report, written by Douglas Oakervee, and delayed until after the election, has found that the procurement strategy for the first phase of HS2 has been a failure, with prices being significantly inflated. It also says that escalating costs mean that the benefit to taxpayers has fallen from £2.30 for every £1 spent in 2017 to between £1.30 and £1.50 for every £1 spent this year.

However it is said to benefit cities in the north and midlands more than London because of improved connections on intercity lines and without it, to control capacity,large ticket price rises” would be needed to discourage travel at peak times while adding that there are no “shovel-ready” alternative investments that could be made in the existing network to provide for much-needed additional rail capacity.



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