HS2 rail link has cost £300m already before single track is laid

More than £300 million has already been spent on the controversial HS2 rail link in less than three years, new figures have revealed.

hs2

Expenditure has ranged from staff wages and public relations to a promotional video and iPad covers for staff.

The spending was revealed by the TaxPayers’ Alliance which analysed the accounts of HS2 Limited, the taxpayer-funded company set up to develop the line.

If MPs back the controversial project work could start in 2017 with the line between London and Lichfield being completed by 2026. The scheme will cut a 45-mile swathe through Staffordshire.

Staffordshire County Council, Stafford Borough Council and Lichfield District Council are opposing the £50 billion project while Wolverhampton and Birmingham city councils are backing the high speed line.

In total, HS2 Ltd paid  £302 million to outside businesses and other organisations between January 2011 and October 2013.

While  £1.2 million was spent on outside public relations and parliamentary lobbying companies and  £1.4 million was paid to a branding company for ‘consultation event management’ and £128,000 spent on a promotional video.

According to the figures, five companies have been paid £192 million between them by HS2 Ltd, including £68.6 million to Arup, the engineering and design consultancy, and £30.8 million to Atkins, another engineering consultancy. KPMG, the management consultancy, which produced a report predicting HS2 will benefit the British economy by £15 billion a year, has been paid £2.3  million by HS2 Ltd.

Jonathan Isaby, the chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It’s clear that bureaucrats in charge of delivering HS2 have embarked on a wasteful spending binge at taxpayers’ expense.”

Joe Rukin, campaign manager for Stop HS2, said: “We always knew that the amount of taxpayers’ money being wasted on HS2 is staggering, but to see it thrown away so blatantly without the project having the go-ahead is a complete disgrace.”

Spokesman Ben Ruse said: “HS2 Ltd remains fastidious in its determination to bear down on costs. HS2 will be delivered on budget and on time. We delivered well within our budget for 2012-2013 and we fully expect to do the same within the current financial year.”

Comments for: "HS2 rail link has cost £300m already before single track is laid"

funny old world

Them brown envelopes are getting more lucrative by the day.

Margaret Hamilton

I'd love to hear the unelected so-called "tax payers alliance" complain about the 450 million that Duncan Smith has wasted on his failed "Universal credit" system, the water cannon that London's Comedy Mayor has just bought, the millions being wasted on politically-inspired redundancy payments for council, police and fire service personnel, ridiculously expensive nuclear weapons, aircraft carriers, the millions paid out daily for cash in hand jobs by tradesmen and the black economy in general. These are the reasons why our tax is so high.

Lakeside

Yep, cut services to the needy and waste money on a pipe dream. Thanks Con-Dems you fools.

Hopefully HS2 will not be delivered at all.

bitsie

Fools! This is why they are cutting money for services around the country and telling us they are skint , its to pay for this rail line . You could even have some respect for them if it was going to be built in the uk and create jobs for us but no they can't even show us that much consideration.

Eddie S

£300m? That's about the same cost as it would be ACTUALLY build a tram system from WOLVERHAMPTON Rail Station-( New Cross,Bentley Bridge,Alfred Squire RD,March End,Broad Lane South -all WEDNESFIELD)-WILLENHALL-up old A454-over J10 via new landmark flyover-WALSALL Town Centre-loop to The MANOR- & back to WV1! Yes sirree, all that for £300m and what a fantastic asset to the area it would be! Oh add on HALF that again, we could have a brand spanking new, 8 platform Rail Station in Wolvo!

Woohoorandom

I'm honestly really scared of this actually going through.

The sad thing is one of the main reasons this is going into affect is because there's not enough trains in certain areas, and instead of doing that they're just connecting all the big cities we can get to normally, costing us a ton, demolishing buildings etc, all just so the wittle government can brag about it's fancy-pants railways.

Graham

I wonder if someone could answer my query re HS2. Is it being built with public money ? If yes will it stay in public ownership or am I correct in thinking it will be built with a huge amount of public money then turned over to the private sector. My gut feeling is it's going to be the latter but I would welcome other people clarifying my confusion.