Government questions its own handling of HS1 and HS2
The government is publicly questioning its own handling of HS1 and also consequently HS2 in a report that has been published today. The Public Accounts Committee has questioned the following in relation to HS1 and believes these lessons must be taken on board for HS2:
Over optimistic forecasting of passenger numbers
Long term debt created for taxpayer - could reach £10 bn for HS1 and for more for the longer HS2
Unrealistic assumption that ticket prices for HS2 journeys will be the same as classic rail ticket prices. This is another reason why passenger forecasts have been over estimated.
It is wrong to assume that time spent on trains is unproductive
DfT does not understand the relative merits of alternative infrastructure investments such as high speed broadband.
This report has been picked up by the Independent, Financial Times, BBC, etc.
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