New figures show High Speed Rail Two is set to cost the Government £1billion before any contruction work begins.
The figures, revealed under the Freedom of Information Act, have been attacked by anti-HS2 protesters in Bucks.
Campaigners have long argued that the business case has not been made for the £33billion high-speed rail project and wanted to find out how much HS2 Ltd, the Government body responsible for the route, had already spent on the link through the Chilterns.
The Government has already spent more than £88m including both resourcing and capital costs, and has projected expenditure of an additional £932m before the end of 2015.
Conserve the Chilterns and Countryside director Stephanie Boston said: “I’m horrified and appalled by this – the business case doesn’t stack up and in light of the Bank of England’s decision to slash economic 2012 growth forecasts to zero per cent last week, it is concerning that the Government has already spent in the region of £88m on a project which has such low potential to drive the economic growth we so desperately need.
“Considering that the HS2 Bill is unlikely to receive Parliamentary approval before 2015, it is remarkable that the Government has committed itself to spending over £1bn before the project has even been accepted by MPs.”
She added: “I’m concerned in the area of the Chilterns, they don’t seem to have taken into account the value of the countryside.
“There’s been no real consideration for the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is a vital part of the local economy.
“It’s so important to the businesses and people of the Chilterns – if they go ahead with this train line people simply won’t visit any more.”
HS2 Action Alliance director and Great Missenden campaigner Hilary Wharf added: “The last I heard it was about £800m, it’s absolutely ridiculous – they’re throwing good money after bad.
“The business case keeps getting worse and worse, yet they’re wasting all this money on preparatory work when the thing shoudn’t even be going ahead – it’s outrageous.”
n What do you think of the £1bn being spent before construction? Write to email@example.com