Reports in the national media have suggested that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt are in talks about scrapping the second stage of the HS2 rail project between Birmingham and Manchester.
According to reports, the talks are due to rising costs and delays occurring with the project. It is estimated that the government has already spent £2.3bn on the second stage and that abandoning the project could save up to £34bn.
In response to these claims, Andrew Baldwin Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Association for Project Management (APM), said: “As the chartered body for the project profession, we acknowledge the importance of learning from setbacks and disruptions to major projects such as those being encountered with HS2.
“It is important to recognise however that constant scope changes to projects can have long term negative effects which can result in their intended economic and societal benefits not being fully realised. All major projects have challenges across their lifespan but the intended benefits HS2 set out to achieve must not be lost.
“Good project outcomes require the right conditions for success, and in a challenging economic environment HS2 has been hampered by a number of setbacks due to circumstances beyond its control, including increased costs. We acknowledge that governments must, at times, make difficult decisions, but the capability of delivering the project with the public good in mind must not be ignored.”