By Ben Jones
NEW Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has thrown the future of High Speed 2 (HS2) into doubt with a new review that will challenge the £56billion project’s scope, design and affordability.
Doug Oakervee, a retired engineer, former HS2 Ltd chairman ,and ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will lead the review, assisted by Lord Tony Berkeley, former chairman of the Rail Freight Group and vocal critic of the project.
The quick-fire review is expected to last just a few weeks, with a final report due in the autumn. Based on the report’s conclusions, the Government will then make a decision on whether and how to proceed before the end of the year.
Terms of reference for the review include the ability of HS2 Ltd to deliver the project effectively, the project’s benefits to towns and cities, both on and off the core routes, environmental and economic benefits, delivery risks, and whether other strategic transport schemes could achieve comparable benefits.
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