HS2 Gets go ahead despite ballooning costs of £108b

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The Government have today given the go-ahead for the whole of the HS2 project despite ballooning costs.

This major decision ends years for agonising wait for the key contractors selected to deliver main civil engineering works on England’s largest-ever infrastructure project which is expected to take over 10 years.

It will comfirm the independent Oakervee Review recommended the project go-ahead in full.

Contractors will now begin to mobilise over coming weeks once main civils works contracts are signed off for the route from London to Birmingham.

Main civils

Area South

  • Euston Tunnels and Approaches – SCS JV (Skanska, Costain, Strabag)
  • Northolt Tunnels – SCS JV

Area Central

  • Chiltern Tunnels and Colne Valley Viaduct – Align JV (Bouygues, VolkerFitzpatrick, Sir Robert McAlpine)
  • North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley – EK JV (Eiffage Genie Civil, Kier)
  • Brackley to South Portal of Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel – EK JV

Area North

  • Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction and Birmingham Spur – BBV JV (Balfour Beatty, Vinci)
  • Delta Junction to WCML Tie-In – BBV JV


  • Euston station: Mace and Dragados
  • Old Oak Common: Balfour Beatty/Vinci

Estimates for phase one civils are now more bolted down after rising 85% to £10.7bn.

While the whole line will be built, the government will seek a review of phase 2b, covering the Northern stretches of the route to try to control costs after latest unofficial estimates have put the final bill at £106bn, triple the original budget.

This review will apply to the Crewe to Manchester and Midlands to Leeds stretches.

Tenders for the more advanced phase 2a civils, which will see the line extended to Crewe from Birmingham, will be invited in 12 months time.