Sir John Armitt, the Government’s Big Projects adviser, has warned that Rishi Sunak’s plan to sell off HS2 assets to prevent a future Government restarting the project would be a “mistake”. Sunak, who scrapped the major rail infra-structure project to pursue a more pro-road strategy in the overall transport plan, had intended for land acquired for the second phase of HS2 to be sold off immediately.
Sir John said:
“I think it’s a mistake. I think that the land should be kept for at least two or three years to give the opportunity for people to revisit that and look at what can be done within that space and find a more cost-effective solution, not write it off today I am disappointed because I think it’s what we often describe as a sort of knee-jerk, snap reaction.”
“We had an integrated plan a few weeks ago, we’ve now lost that. There are a number of projects, some of which already existed, some new ones. Let’s get those properly turned into a well-thought-through, integrated plan for the future”.