CAMPAIGNERS say the Government is being forced to come clean over the business case for the high speed rail link after its own figures showed the expected return for tax payers will be half that of the original prediction.
Critics have said the Department for Transport, which sponsors of the Government’s HS2 project, should admit the business case was seriously flawed following their latest update last week.
The original DfT prediction said for every pound spent on HS2 the Treasury would get back £2.40, that prediction has now been revised to £1.20. Critics point out this is still based on the refuted assumption that all the time spent by business people on a train is wasted. When an allowance is made for this, critics believe the true BCR is nearer 90p and that HS2 will lose 10p for every pound spent on it.
Martin Tett, chairman of the 51m alliance of 19 local authorities opposed to HS2 said: ”The DfT is being forced to ‘come clean’ on the business case. Every time it has been reviewed, the value for hard-earned taxpayers’ money has fallen and fallen.
“Normally the DfT wouldn’t look at any business case with a return of less than 2, but here we have a project that barely breaks even and in reality will almost certainly lose an enormous amount of money.”
Yesterday, Thursday, April 19, 51m held a summit at the Occulus in Aylesbury to establish the principles of future engagement with HS2 Ltd through community forums, and to understand purpose and scope of these and other forums
After the summit Mr Tett said: “Make no mistake, we will fight this all the way. Our legal challenge is underway, and we have now submitted a request for a judicial review, but we also have to fight to get the best deal possible for our residents should High Speed 2 go ahead.”