The HS2 money pit: Ministers are told first stage of high-speed rail line may cost another 800m... six months after a budget increase saw total costs soar by 20.6bn to 43billion
Ministers have been told that Phase One of controversial rail line HS2 could cost800million more than planned.
It comes just six months after a budget increase saw total predicted costs for the first stage of the high-speed line soar by 20.6billion to 43billion.
In a written statement to Parliament, HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson said half of this figure is due to preparation of the route for construction involving 'more significant challenges than anticipated'.
This includes the need to remove more asbestos than expected.
Another 'significant cost pressure' worth 400 million has also been identified during the development of designs for Euston station.
Mr Stephenson warned that further investigation is being carried out which 'could identify further pressure'.
In November 2013, the estimated cost for the first stage of HS2 stood at 19.4billion, according to figures calculated in a parliamentary session.
In April, a full business case was approved which saw a target cost of 40billion in 2019 prices - a rise of 20.6billion.
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said HS2 Ltd is still expected to deliver Phase One at the 'target cost' of 40.3 billion.
The project as a whole has seen spiralling costs - from theprojected 36billion in 2012 to an estimated 106billion now.
The 'funding envelope' for Phase One is 44.6 billion, which includes a contingency of 4.3 billion retained by the Government.
The DfT spokesman added: 'As construction continues, this Government remains relentlessly focused on controlling costs, to ensure this ambitious new railway delivers its wealth of benefits at value for money for the taxpayer.'
Boris Johnson decided to proceed with HS2 in February despite fears over its cost, schedule and impact on the environment.
In September, Mr Johnson heralded the HS2 rail link as an engine for jobgrowth as construction finally begins.
Given the go-ahead on January 10, 2012, Europe's largest infrastructure project last month moved from enabling works to full construction – with shovels finally going in the ground.
The Prime Minister says it will create 22,000 jobs.
But many of his own MPs – especially those with constituencies on the route – are deeply against the expensive project.
And its chief executive, Mark Thurston, takes home more than four times the Prime Minister with 659,416.
Last month, Mr Thurston said: 'The reality of high-speed journeys joining up Britain's biggest cities in the North and Midlands and using that connectivity to help level up the country has just moved a step closer.'
Mr Johnson said: 'HS2 is at the heart of our plans to build back better – and with construction now formally under way, it's set to create around 22,000 new jobs.
'As the spine of our country's transport network, the project will be vital in boosting connectivity between our towns and cities.
'But HS2's transformational potential goes even further.
'By creating hundreds of apprenticeships and thousands of skilled jobs, HS2 will fire up economic growth and help to rebalance opportunity across this country for years to come.'
HS2 Ltd and its main contractors expect to recruit for around 22,000 roles in the coming years to build the phase one route.
These will include 7,000 jobs in the West Midlands, more than 4,000 building the section from the Long Itchsington Wood site in Warwickshire south to the Chilterns, and 10,000 in the Greater London area.
这些工作将包括西米德兰兹郡的7000个工作岗位，从沃里克郡的Long Itchsington Wood工地向南到奇尔特恩夫妇的4000多个建筑工地，以及大伦敦地区的1万个工作岗位。
And HS2 Ltd itself is already directly recruiting for 500 roles over the next three months, with the majority based in Birmingham.