January 2010 budget estimates for the HS2 project were 20 billion. 10 years later, the budget is now over five times the initial quote.
London is a city full of many activities and tourist attractions but sometimes Londoners try to get a feel of other parts of the UK.
Train prices in the UK have been on a steady rise. The average train ticket price rose by 1.6% in January despite nationwide havoc in regards to trains falling short in respect to delays and cancellations. Amidst these shortcomings was the promise of the HS2 (High speed trains) which could get passengers from London to Manchester in just 67 minutes whereas the current time taken is 127 minutes.This phase of the HS2 is not even expected to be finished by the end of this decade. Rather, proposals show the London to Manchester (Phase 2b) extension from London to Birmingham (Phase 1) will arrive between 2035 and 2040.
The HS2’s delays however have meant commuters to other parts of the UK may still face expensive fares and double the journey times well into this decade if not for the entirety as aforementioned, fare prices have risen on a yearly basis. Following a string of budget changes, Labour accused leaders of the nation of deceiving the nation in regards to the cost of this project and this shows that while travel into Europe flourishes, travel within the UK remains quite bothersome.
A new Eurostar service which will see passengers paying only £40 each way means it is now cheaper to get to Amsterdam which is in another country than it is to get to parts of the UK in the north such as Manchester. Eurostar have made it clear that they wish to provide cheap and fast travel into Europe. The cheapest ticket price you can get for a train to Manchester at noon is £50 and a return ticket total to around £85. It also means trips to Birmingham and Amsterdam will cost the same. It’s not easy to drive all the way either so this leaves commuters with little or no choice other than to be at the mercy of National rail services.
Projections on the price of tickets when the project is completed are implying ticket prices will be even more expensive than they are now, rightly so as the service will be quicker, more efficient and more effective, but the opposition the project is being faced with mostly come from concerned commuters who believe it is better to invest and improve in the services already running than it is to create a whole new train line.
- HS2 phase 1 from London to Birmingham may be delayed by up to 5 years. It was initially meant to have been completed by 2026 but may now face an extension on that till 2031.
- Costs at the moment are quoted to be around £88 billion which is a colossal rise by £33 billion from the initial £55 billion quoted to parliament in 2015
- This project is largely funded by money from taxpayers.
- Londoners started moving out of London in anticipation of the incoming HS2 line but have now been left frustrated as commuting into London still remains expensive and time consuming.
- Chairman of the HS2, Allan Cook blamed the delay on the plans not including possible issues building through largely populated areas and areas that have rough geographical features.
Words: Olubukunmi Michael Nathan | Subbing: Bethan Adams