That’s according to the Transport Secretary, Mark Harper
Transport Secretary Mark Harper has said the Government will delay building the Birmingham to Crewe leg of HS2 by two years.
In a written ministerial statement, he said: “The Government is committed to delivering HS2 Phase 2a between Birmingham and Crewe.
“We have seen significant inflationary pressure and increased project costs, and so we will rephase construction by two years, with an aim to deliver high-speed services to Crewe and the north west as soon as possible after accounting for the delay in construction.”
The Confederation of British Industry said the delay would hit confidence in the rail industry and could ultimately lead to higher overall costs for HS2.
John Foster, the CBI’s policy unit programme director, said: “Having been subject to significant revisions and years of uncertainty, business will at least have the clarity needed to enable them to plan effectively.
“But this news will ultimately reduce investor and contractor confidence in the rail sector.
“To mitigate further loss of confidence, it is critical that government tackles the inflationary pressures which are biting hard across the infrastructure sector.
“Delays to projects may create short-term savings, but they can ultimately lead to higher overall costs and slow down the UK’s transition to a better, faster and greener transport network”.
Labour said the latest delay to the HS2 high speed rail link meant the North was again having to “pay the price” for Government failures.
Shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh MP said: “Tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic growth are dependent on this project.
“The North is yet again being asked to pay the price for staggering Conservative failure.
“Conservative chaos and chronic indecision is holding back jobs, growth and costing the taxpayer.
“This is the biggest project in Europe and delays pile costs up in the long run – ministers now need to come clean on precisely how much their indecision will cost taxpayers and the North.”