HS2 phase 2b has been given a red ‘unachievable’ rating by the Infrastructure Projects Authority (IPA) and Michael Fabricant is calling for a rethink.
“West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, has already expressed his concern regarding the decision by HS2 not to commence a train service heading north from the Birmingham HS2 station at Curzon Street until the line to Manchester is complete” says Michael Fabricant.
“With the Infrastructure Projects Authority stating that this is ‘unachievable’, will Andy Street now accept that Birmingham being merely a spur off the main north-south route was always going to sideline the West Midlands?”
The ‘Y-shaped’ branches of the line between Crewe and Leeds and Manchester were given the rating in the IPA’s latest annual major projects report. The body delivered its assessment of 184 projects, evaluating the likelihood of them achieving their “aims and objectives” and doing so “on time and on budget”.
Michael adds: “The red rating means: ‘Successful delivery of the project is unachievable. There are major issues with project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable. The project may need re-scoping and/or its overall viability reassessed.’ Of the 164 government major projects analysed by the IPA, only seven received this red ‘unachievable’ rating.
“I shall be asking for a statement from the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, regarding this assessment of the viability of the scheme and whether the Government now plans to abandon this leg of HS2. If that is the case, it weakens the whole case for the high speed line in Birmingham and damages still further its viability in the West Midlands.”