No conceivable circumstance’ in which line does not terminate in central London, says chancellor

Hunt HS2 Solihull1 LR

Source: HM Treasury

Jeremy Hunt on a visit to the site of the HS2 Interchange station at Solihull in November 

The chancellor has dismissed reports that the government is looking to save money on HS2 by scaling it back so that it no longer terminates in central London.

Jeremy Hunt re-affirmed his commitment to the flagship rail project and said he could not see “any conceivable circumstance” in which the line would not end at Euston but stopped short of ruling out delays.


Source: HM Treasury

Hunt spared the project last autumn, despite making heavy cuts in his budget

The Sun newspaper had reported this morning that the Euston leg could be scrapped or delayed until 2038 to save money, with the line terminating instead at the planned HS2 hub at Old Oak Common.

In a statement, Hunt said “I don’t see any conceivable circumstance where [HS2] does not end up at Euston.

“I prioritized HS2 in the autumn statement – we have not got a good record in this country of delivering complex, expensive infrastructure quickly.

“We have shovels in the ground, we are building HS2 and we are going to make it happen.”

HS2 and other major infrastructure projects were spared the knife in last November’s budget, despite weeks of speculation about significant cuts to the scheme.

Last week, Bernadette Kelly, permanent secretary at the DfT, signalled that cuts or delays were likely needed to tackle rampant inflation on the scheme.