HS2 Ltd chief executive Mark Thurston has admitted that the cost of building a new station alongside the existing London Euston terminus for high speed trains was not really known until last year.
The National Audit Office warned at the end of March that the existing budget of £2.6 billion was inadequate, and that the estimated cost now stands at £4.8 billion.
More recently, work on the tunnel between Old Oak Common and Euston was ‘paused’ last week, although HS2 Ltd announced as recently as 12 April that work had started on building an 853m ‘logistics tunnel’ between Atlas Road North Acton and the Old Oak Common site to be used for the delivery of construction materials and the removal of waste from the main Euston running tunnels.
Speaking to the Commons Public Accounts Committee, Mr Thurston said the real costs of HS2 Euston were not clear for a long time, saying: ‘candidly, it was only until we got to the autumn of last year’ that the costs were fully understood.
Transport secretary Mark Harper had told the Transport Committee last week that a new delay at Euston could only increase the final bill.