Thank you for contacting me about HS2.
When complete, HS2 will form the backbone of the UK’s transport network, delivering a significant increase in rail capacity, cutting journey times, boosting productivity and bringing our biggest towns and cities closer together. HS2 will also be the world's most environmentally sustainable high-speed railway, with Ministers aiming to deliver a 'net gain' to biodiversity over the project's next phase.
I believe the enormous potential of HS2 for the whole nation outweighs its costs and I am pleased that HS2 remains on schedule and within budget. As you may know, the Full Business Case for Phase One was approved in April 2020, which included a robust cost-benefit analysis. Current costs are also being continually interrogated to identify where savings can be made.
The overall budget for Phase One, including Euston, remains £44.6 billion, though the target cost is £40.3 billion. So far, £12.9 billion has been spent, with an additional £1 billion for land and property provisions. £12.4 billion has additionally been contracted, with the remaining amount not yet under contract or drawn as contingency.
HS2 is already supporting 20,000 jobs and working with 2,200 businesses, 97 per cent of which are UK based. At Old Oak Common alone, HS2 is already supporting 2,300 jobs and 250 construction apprenticeships. At its peak, I understand that the project will support 34,000 jobs, 4,000 more than forecast in the last six-monthly review. This jobs boost comes at a critical time as we build back better from the pandemic.
I am pleased that Parliament will continue to receive regular six-monthly progress reports.