The total spend on buying property in London was revealed to be at least £1,256,089,849 as of 30 June, the BBC has reported. Many of the properties were bought to make way for the service in west London.
The high speed railway line was promised to boost the UK economy by providing swift journey times between London, the Midlands and the north of England. Journey times between Birmingham to London are predicted by the Department for Transport to be cut from one hour 21 minutes to 52 minutes.
A HS2 spokesman said: “Every home, business and piece of land is unique and we appreciate that there may often be different opinions between owners, their professional advisers and HS2 about the value of a property.
“We work with the people affected to reach an agreement, recognising the differences in opinion can take time to resolve.”
A Government review into the whether the expensive project should continue is due in October.
Earlier in the week, HS2 chairman Allan Cook said that that costs for the project had risen to £78 billion, compared to a previous estimate of £56 billion in 2015 prices. In today’s terms it has risen from £62 billion to around £86 billion.
The line is also now expected to open between 2028 and 2031, rather than 2027 as previously planned, with the final stage extending from Crewe to Manchester and Leeds expected not to open until 2040.
Senior Labour MP Yvette Cooper called the announcement “a complete joke”, while Tory ex-minister David Davis added: “I suspect this will not be the last time we see headlines about HS2 being further delayed and billions over budget. The recently announced review into the project must scrap this white elephant.”
A spokesman for HS2 said after the announcement: “HS2 remains a compelling strategic answer for Britain’s future transport needs, relieving overcrowding and congestion on our roads and railways, and reducing the carbon footprint of the UK.
“It will drive economic growth and regeneration in our regions, and bring Britain closer together.”
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