Lichfield’s MP is calling on the Transport Secretary to clarify the future of the northern section of HS2 after it was rated ‘unachievable’ by the Infrastructure Projects Authority.
The branches of the proposed route between Crewe and Manchester were given the rating in the IPA’s latest annual 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.
Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said:
“The red rating means ‘successful delivery of the project is unachievable’.
“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.”Michael Fabricant MP
The annual report describes the HS2 as a scheme designed to “make it easier for people to live and work where they want”.
But a description of the red rating suggests major concerns with the scheme’s viability.
“Successful delivery of the project appears to be 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 rescoping and/or its overall viability reassessed.”Infrastructure Projects Authority
Mr Fabricant said the red rating raised warning flags about the route.
“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.
“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?”Michael Fabricant MP