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Watchdog warns HS2 could face delays

The controversial HS2 railways scheme could be delayed amid concerns of an unrealistic timetable, an official report has claimed.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has warned the high speed rail line between London, Birmingham and the Midlands is facing ‘cost and schedule pressures’ and will cost more than £200m more than originally expected.

According to the report, the first phase is forecast to cost £27,384m, which will exceed available funding by £204m.

The watchdog has also revealed the Department for Transport has asked the company responsible, HS2 Ltd, to look at the impact of extending the timetable for opening its first phase in 2026 by a further 12 months.

‘HS2 is a large, complex and ambitious programme, which is facing cost and time pressures,’ said NAO head, Amyas Morse. ‘The unrealistic timetable set for HS2 Ltd by

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