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Sat June 19 2021

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29% hike in HS2 contingency budget

27 Jun 13 The budget for the proposed HS2 rail project has gone up 29% from £33bn to £42.6bn, to include contingency funding.

The budget for the first phase, between London and Birmingham, has been set at £21.4bn. This phase is planned for completion by 2026.

The budget for the second phase, taking the lie further north to Leeds and Manchester by 2032, has been set at £21.2bn.

The figures include £14.4bn of contingency funds across the scheme.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin told the House of Commons yesterday that the £ figure was a ceiling rather than an estimate. "While I expect the final costs to be lower than those I have just outlined,” he said, “this is the right way to plan the project."

MPs yesterday voted overwhelming to give the project’s enabling Bill a second reading.

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