A ROW has erupted over the supposed costs of building the HS2 line through the heart of the Chilterns.
Accusations have been made by a transport watchdog and Stop HS2 campaigner Keri Brennan that the budget for the rail link has risen by £4billion and could reach £50bn.
However, the government has denied such inflation and maintained the route is still projected to cost the same as it did before it was revised in January.
A figure in a document available from the Department for Transport website states that the capital cost would amount to £36.4bn but a spokesman said this figure included indirect taxation the government can recoup.
Mrs Brennan said: “The interesting point here is that all their benefits are in market prices and it’s standard practice to publish the costs in comparative terms.”
Transport Watch also issued a statement on the debate: “Is it not dishonest that ministers continue to cite the cost as £33bn when that value excludes trains costing £8bn, and tax?
“Adding those increases the headline cost to £50bn.”
John England, who lives in The Brow in Chalfont St Giles, which the London to Birmingham route will run underneath, said: “How much have they spent to date? I imagine, when you take into account the different factors, it will be 15 or 20 per cent over budget. It’s a massive waste of money.”