The government are "very poor" at managing projects, says HS2 mastermind Lord Adonis

11 February 2020, 20:40

HS2 mastermind and ex-Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said the government are "so bad" at managing infrastructure costs and "very poor" at running projects, after being confronted by Iain Dale.

Lord Adonis said the project was a "long time coming" and found it disappointing that infrastructure is "always stop start in this country."

Iain Dale questioned the cost of HS2, stating that when the former Transport Secretary estimated the cost of the project it was a "small fraction" of what it is now.

Lord Adonis said one issue was the government's handling of infrastructure costs and not just with HS2 as Cross Rail is "billions over budget." He said there's a conversation that needs to be had about why our country is "so bad" at managing infrastructure costs and "very poor" at managing projects.

He said the other main reason was the stop start nature of the project and the constant reviews.

Iain asked how confident the former Transport Secretary was that the high speed rail project would be delivered by the end of the decade.

"The long duration delivering infrastructure projects isn't actually in the construction, it's in the planning and getting the politics right," he said, "if they can start constructions now... I think they can get it open as the Prime Minister said today, before the end of the decade."

Lord Adonis said this could happen providing there are no more delays - however there will be a further review for the 200 miles north of Birmingham which make up the second phase of the project.