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What does the future hold for HS2?

Can HS2 be delivered within the £56 billion budget? Is it right that HS2 is being prioritised over improvements to rail services in the north of England? Could the £56 billion be better spent elsewhere?

These are among the questions the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will be asking a panel of witnesses this afternoon.

The witnesses will be giving evidence to a follow-up session on the Committee's inquiry, The Economics of High Speed 2, which published its report in March 2015.

The session will begin at 3.35pm. Giving evidence will be:

  • Bridget Rosewell CBE, Founder, Volterra and Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission
  • Chris Stokes, Independent Rail Consultant and former network director at the Strategic Rail Authority.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • How surprising is Sir Terry Morgan's admission to the Committee last month that “nobody knows” what the final cost of HS2 will be?
  • Is the recent reduction in the growth in demand for long-distance rail travel a concern for the business case for HS2?
  • Will the main beneficiaries of overcrowding relief be London commuters?
  • Will the speed be lowered and the number of trains an hour reduced to ensure the project is finished in time and on budget?
  • Do you agree with Sir Terry Morgan that HS2 should terminate initially at Old Oak Common, allowing for more time to redevelop Euston?

This evidence session, which is open to the public, will start at 3.35pm on Tuesday 19 February 2019 in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

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