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HS2 still ‘full of massive risks’

HS2 still ‘full of massive risks’

Building of the proposed high-speed railway linking the north of England and London is still in “critical” doubt according to a government troubleshooter, who also highlighted the many major risks associated with the controversial project. The so-called HS2 project will remain labelled as “amber/red” because of the massive uncertainty which surrounds it, Major Projects Authority chief David Pitchford said.

‘Complexity and cost’ causing major barriers

Established in 2010, the authority was tasked with overturning the Civil Service’s record of implementing projects. It completed an audit of the Coalition Government’s 200 biggest schemes, said to be costing a total £400 billion, and published the results in May. Most of the projects were assigned a colour to indicate the level of risk associated with it. HS2 was given the amber/red tag which means “successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas”. Now, Mr Pitchford told the Daily Telegraph, this risk is likely remain for a long time because of HS2’s “scale, size, complexity and cost”.

“If it was a sporting fixture … you’d still be in the warm-up. You wouldn’t be on the pitch yet. The reality of it is, there’s a lot of things need to be defined before for it to come out of amber/red, or a rating similar to that. “Before there’ll be a significant change in our assessment of it, there will need to be less uncertainty. High Speed 2 is in effect a whole portfolio in its own right. It’s not just a single project. Some of the things they’ll need to build in terms of the stations and things are quite significant major projects in their own right. So the complexity, not only of the rail construction but all of the infrastructure that needs to go with it, and then the operating model and the rolling stock purchase, all of those things must be addressed incrementally.”

If you are affected by HS2, contact our property dispute resolution team to find out about your options, which could include making a claim for HS2 compensation. Email propertydisputes@ibblaw.co.uk or call 01895 207988.