Responding to the Written Ministerial Statement issued by Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP this afternoon, relating to HS2’s re-estimated timeline and budget, Nick Baveystock, Director General of the Institution of Civil Engineers, said:
“A cost and time readjustment for HS2 is not unexpected. As we have seen with other major projects, such as Crossrail, transparency over cost and timelines at various stages of a project can be beneficial, giving them the space to refocus on delivering the whole-life benefits that projects bring to the public. It is better to have these conversations now rather than after deadlines have been missed.
“ICE’s research shows that the public are pragmatic about the realities of constructing major infrastructure projects - only 3% say cost should be the main determining factor of success - and they understand that projects delivered over long timescales will encounter unforeseen circumstances.
“Beyond HS2, what is most important is for the UK to have a strategic, joined-up approach to infrastructure planning and delivery. The public, currently, do not believe that the UK Government has a clear strategy for meeting our infrastructure needs, and it is essential that they are reassured that infrastructure will continue to be delivered to a high standard and provide broad societal benefits."