HS2: Government isn’t clear on Euston Station goal, says report

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said that this was true even though the Department of Transport (DfT) had planned and designed it for more than eight years.

In March, it was said that work on the station would stop for two years.

The DfT said it was still “committed to building HS2 in the cheapest way possible.”

Euston delays will cost more money, says a watchdog group. The chancellor says that HS2 will reach central London.
HS2: Leaders ask the government to look at their ideas
The PAC report asked the DfT to use the current break in building to figure out what it wants the station to look like and how much it is willing to spend on it.

It said that the original budget of £2.6bn was “completely unrealistic,” and now it’s thought that building the station will cost about £4.8bn.

It also said that the department’s reports to Parliament every six months must be more open.

The committee said that previous updates on cost pressures at Euston didn’t show that there was a chance that building costs could be much higher than expected.

The PAC study also came to other conclusions and made other suggestions, such as:

The department doesn’t yet know how much it will cost and what will happen if work stops.
The department and HM Treasury have not come to an agreement on how they will deal with high inflation on the HS2 project.
The department’s reports to Parliament on the HS2 Programme didn’t show how unclear it was about how much Euston station would cost.
The department hasn’t learned anything yet from running big train projects.
The committee’s leader, MP Dame Meg Hillier, said that the Euston project was “floundering.”

She said that the plan had caused “major problems for the local community” and that putting it on hold had “not been free,” even though it was done to save money.

She also said, “The government must now be clear about what it wants to do with this new station and how it will help the public.”

In response to the story, a DfT spokesperson said, “Earlier this year, we decided to change the way Euston is being built to help balance the country’s books and work on a design for the station that is affordable.”

“The National Audit Office recently said that this will give us time to make the station design more stable, and we’re still working hard to make sure that the transformative benefits of HS2 are brought to passengers by better connecting our biggest cities, supporting thousands of jobs, and helping the economy grow.”

“We are aware of the suggestions in the committee’s report and will act on them when the time is right.”

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