Today the National Audit Office releases it’s damning report on HS2 – you can read it here
HS2 has come under heavy fire for loads of shortcomings, including – as we have long argued – funding problems, forecast problems, “poor management at both HS2 and DfT”, and unsupported claims of huge benefits.
The NAO has found:
- A funding shortfall of over £3bn
- Concerns over how HS2 is supposed to transform the North, as claimed
- Evidence that forecasts have ignored key factors and are likely to be exaggerated
- Concern over how travellers’ saved time has been used to claim £bns of benefits
- That overcrowding at London Euston will affect suburban (local) trips far more than on intercity routes
- Poor management at both HS2 Ltd and the DfT
One of the striking comments they make is:
“The Department is not sufficiently engaged with its stakeholders”
Local Residents Associations, Action Groups, the council and businesses and organisations have been saying this through official complaints, requests and in writing to MPs and minsters, and it has not improved! It is time HS2 communicated and engaged with the people whose lives or livelihoods have been ruined by the project in a way that satisfied them.
Currently we have no community forums as HS2 have unilaterally cancelled them.
There is lots of reaction and media coverage to come today. Newsnight also has an item on the business case of HS2 tonight (16th May 2013).
Hillingdon Against HS2 Reaction to the NAO report
This report shows to the world that HS2 is and has been flawed from the start, with it seems only those who stand to gain from HS2 related jobs driving the project forward. Everyone we have met who has had contact with HS2 has been shocked by their cavalier, arrogant, careless and reckless approach to communities affected by the project. This NAO report shows that view is correct to the very heart of the project. The people that need to pay attention are MPs from every constituency in the country. If they still support HS2 after this damning report then the £50 billion plus, wasted on a vanity project at a time of poverty and austerity will be on their conscience. This is the excuse savvy politicians have been waiting for to dare to stand up against this madness. The question is will any of them have the nerve to do it in the face of blind and unscrutinising cross-party support for this shocking waste of taxpayers money.
Ruislip Against HS2 Reaction to the NAP report
Ruislip Against HS2 welcome the report from the NAO and are glad that the huge failings and mistakes from HS2 Ltd and the DFT, that we have been trying to highlight for so long, can now be seen.
The plans for HS2 should have come under far more scrutiny before now but ministers have been too keen to push ahead with their vanity project and ignore the warnings. It is time this government finally comes to it’s senses and admit that they have got things desperately wrong.
HS2 is a vast money pit that is growing daily and this disgraceful waste of taxpayers money needs to end with the project cancelled.