HS2 construction to be ‘delayed imminently to save money’ 

HS2 is set to be delayed to cut costs (Picture: PA)

The government is expected to shortly confirm delays to certain sections of the HS2 project in order to cut costs. 

It is understood that delays will primarily affect the high-speed railway between Birmingham and Crewe, and between Crewe and Manchester.

However, the BBC reports that industry sources have indicated some design teams working on the Euston end of the line may be affected.

It’s reported contractors are ‘looking at whether they need to redeploy staff working on that site.’

Tory MP Simon Clarke, former chief secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘This would be a sensible decision.

‘Having observed HS2’s progress as chief secretary, I have serious doubts as to value for money and cost control.’

An announcement is expected to come from the government shortly. 

CGI issued by HS2 of the interior design of HS2 Euston Station (Picture: PA)

Commenting on reports that construction of HS2 between Birmingham and Crewe will be delayed to save money, Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant asked whether existing construction sites would be abandoned or completed.

The Tory MP, whose constituency contains around 19 miles of the HS2 route, said: ‘I shall be asking the Government whether this delay marks the end of HS2 north of Birmingham for good and whether HS2 will make good the damage already done in southern Staffordshire.

‘Simply saying the project is delayed is not good enough. The area has been blighted by whole fields turned into construction sites.

He went on to add: ‘Anyone driving along the A38 between Birmingham and Burton can see for themselves the work going on near the City of Lichfield. Will these sites now be abandoned or completed? 

Michael Fabricant, MP for Lichfield, has questioned what will happen to construction sites during the delays (Picture: P Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

‘If they are to be abandoned, will there be remedial work to restore the countryside? And what of compensation for my constituents who have had their lives and businesses wrecked by the construction work?’

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said in October 2022 the forecast to complete HS2 did remain within planned ranges. 

That involved Phase One – connecting London with Birmingham – opening between 2029 and 2033.

Services are set to initially start and end at Old Oak Common, west London, due to current delays at Euston.

Mr Harper said Phase 2a, going from Birmingham to Crewe, was ‘on track’ to be completed between 2030 and 2034.

Meanwhile, he said that the expected completion date for Phase 2b, which would then connect Crewe up with Manchester, could be anywhere between 2035 and 2041

Metro.co.uk has contacted the Department for Transport, which declined to comment. 

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