Revealed: the £12bn bill for scrapping high-speed rail link
- Scrapping the HS2 rail project will cost at least £12 billion in write-offs and compensation and plunge major construction companies into financial peril, ministers are being warned.
- Sources close to the beleaguered scheme told the Observer that extra costs of £3bn-£4bn would be incurred even if it were scrapped immediately. £9bn has been spent already.
- With the issue causing tension inside the Conservative party, Whitehall insiders said that Boris Johnson could decide on the fate of the project as soon as this week as concerns grow that costs are spiralling out of control. Billions have already been spent on the first leg of the line linking Birmingham and London.
- In an attempt to rescue the scheme, Andy Street, the Tory mayor of the West Midlands, said “very senior and influential business people have been in contact with the PM” before an imminent decision. He said it was “Narnia-land” to believe the project could be scrapped without huge costs.