Oakervee review

Barmy government procurement is a key driver of HS2 costs

The fate of HS2 will soon be decided and news of the much-hyped Oakervee Review has started to leak. It seems to recommend that the project should go ahead in full (onwards to Manchester and Leeds from Birmingham) but concedes that potential costs are too high. HS2 now cannot be delivered within its £56bn budget, and £88bn is the more pragmatic figure. I’m the editor of RAIL magazine and we’ve been covering it for over ten years and I’ve noticed how much people aren’t being told. So here’s my attempt to distil the costs story into a few paragraphs. In the beginning, HS2 costs were estimated at about £34bn. To