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High Speed Two: progress review

The High Speed Two programme aims to create a new high-speed rail service. The Department for Transport (the Department) is the sponsor of the programme and High Speed Two Ltd (HS2 Ltd), a company wholly owned by the Department, is responsible for developing, building and maintaining the railway.

We have reported on the programme three times so far. Our 2013 report examined early preparations for the programme and found that the cost and benefit estimates underpinning the business case were uncertain and would change because the programme was at an early stage. We also raised concerns that the schedule was ambitious. Our 2016 progress report found significant progress in preparing to deliver the programme and that the Department and HS2 Ltd had taken steps to address weaknesses in the business case. However, costs were still uncertain. Our 2018 investigation found that HS2 Ltd’s estimate of the cost of the land and property for Phase 1 has increased over time as more information became known about both the design and operation of the new railway.

This study will examine progress since our last value for money study in 2016.