Liz Truss, the Chief Secretary, wrote in this newspaper that ministers must be prepared to junk costly “white elephant” projects that fail to provide “bang for buck”.
The Prime Minister, however, has stood by the claim the country needs the new route, while Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, has insisted that the Government is “fully committed” to it.
An HS2 spokesman said: “We are working with our supply chain to ensure we deliver on the budget we have been set by Government. We are challenging the supply chain to innovate, to work collaboratively and to draw on the experience of some of the world’s leading infrastructure companies working with us.”
Joe Rukin, the campaign coordinator of Stop HS2, said: “For a decade every official source has repeated the dogmatic line that ‘HS2 is on time and on budget’, but now Mark Thurston is trying to rewrite history, and claim they’ve ‘always said’ they’d only tell us the true cost when the final contracts are signed and it’s too late to say no.”