28 March 2012
Engineers are today warning that the current High Speed 2 proposals must learn from the mistakes made during the planning of the first high speed railway line which connects London and the Channel Tunnel.
The warning comes as the National Audit Office publishes “The completion and sale of High Speed 1” report, which concludes that while passenger numbers have increased, they are still below original expectations.
Chris Richards, Transport Policy Advisor at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) said: “This report highlights the need to get the details on High Speed 2 right from the outset. In our response to the Department for Transport consultation we made it clear that there were potential flaws in the analysis, several assumptions were made in crucial areas and serious questions have been left unanswered.
“The report backs up our concerns as the original High Speed 1 business case was based on journey time saving benefits and increased rail capacity. The total value of these benefits is not known as the Department for Transport has not yet developed a method to evaluate HS1 project costs against benefits, despite this forming part of the High Speed 2 justification.
“High Speed 2 is a project of major national significance, if we get this wrong, we will regret it for decades to come.”
The National Audit Office report on High Speed 1 highlights:
Media enquiries to:
For more information, visit www.theiet.org.