Taxpayers set to lose 40bn on troubled HS2, ministers warned

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TAXPAYERS are set to lose a whopping 40billion on the troubled HS2 rail link, a lord reviewing the troubled project has warned.

Lord Berkeley furiously accused the projects bosses of fiddling the figures and misleading MPs about the scheme.

HS2 costs are set to spiral out of control, experts have warned

In a blistering report for Boris Johnson, the Labour peer said the project is completely out of control and costs will spiral to at least 107billion.

He also savaged claims the 354-mile high speed line from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds will electrify growth in the North and Midlands.

He told Sky News Sophy Ridge: My report suggests that the project is completely out of control financially and it doesnt actually do whats on the tin.

It doesnt benefit the North and the Midlands in the way that upgrading existing lines could.

And they fiddled the figures to improve the benefit cost ratio by allowing for 18 trains an hour to go on the line when nobody in the world runs more than 14.

So the revenue is all shot to pieces.

He added: I believe that Parliament has been misled because the costs were clearly known by the Department for Transport, and I believe ministers, three or four years ago.

He said costs are now set to balloon to a staggering 107bn, and could rocket even higher.

Lord Berkeley said taxpayers will only see 60ps worth of benefit for every pound spent on the scheme.
With the project expected to cost just over 100billion, this would leave Brits facing a 40bn loss.

He fumed: This project is about two or three times over budget even before construction has even started.

Thats a completely different level of cost over-run. It needs looking at again.

Mr Johnson ordered a review into the troubled high speed rail scheme when he became PM amid outrage over the projects spiralling costs.

But Lord Berkeley quit his post as deputy chairman of the inquiry, complaining that his work was being ignored.

Lord Berkeley said HS2 wouldn’t benefit the North as it was being claimed to
What the new trains will look like – if the project goes ahead

He issued his own devastating take-down of the project in his own report.

But Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government is still committed to the project.

He said: The Prime Minister’s made it clear and we’ve got a review under way.

“We want to look at the best way to get value for money in relation to that substantial investment.

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