The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that a government commissioned review is to be conducted over HS2 to analyse if the project should continue.
Douglas Oakervee, the former HS2 Ltd chairman will be in charge of the enquiry along with long term critic of HS2 Lord Berkeley.
The review is to consider the benefits, impact, efficiency scope, affordability, deliverability and phasing of HS2, the DfT said.
Grant Shapps the transport secretary will be sent the final independent report by the autumn, to inform Sajid Javid the chancellor and Boris Johnson.
Shapps said, “The prime minister has been clear that transport infrastructure has the potential to drive economic growth, redistribute opportunity and support towns and cities across the UK, but that investments must be subject to continuous assessment of their costs and benefits.
“That’s why we are undertaking this independent and rigorous review of HS2.
“Douglas Oakervee and his expert panel will consider all the evidence available, and provide the department with clear advice on the future of the project.”
Last month the chairman of the HS2 project warned that the total cost may rise by £30bn, the current budget is £56bn and billions has already been spent on the project.
Shapps was asked over the billions of taxpayers’ money already spent on HS2, he said, “Just because you’ve spent a lot of money on something does not mean you should plough more and more money into it.”
He added that MPs are asking the reviewers to “just give us the facts.”
“Go and find out all the information that’s out there… genuinely what it would cost to complete this project, and then we’ll be in a much better position to make that decision – go or no-go by the end of the year.”