Background to the report

The High Speed Two programme (the programme) aims to build a new high-speed, high-capacity railway between London, the West Midlands and the north of England. The programme is the government’s largest infrastructure programme by value, with an estimated total cost of between £72 billion and £98 billion (2019 prices) for Phases One, 2a and 2b. The Department for Transport funds and sponsors the programme. HS2 Ltd, an arm’s-length body of the Department, is responsible for developing, building and maintaining the railway.

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The NAO has reported on the programme regularly, examining preparations and early progress, and future risks to value for money. It has made recommendations to the Department and HS2 Ltd to help improve the programme’s delivery.

Scope of the report

This report reviews progress in implementing the NAO’s recommendations in Progress with preparations for High Speed 2 (2016), and High Speed Two: A progress update (2020). It should not be read as an indication of the NAO’s view of the current status of the overall programme, or the Department and HS2 Ltd’s management of the programme.


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