HS2 is currently in talks with contractors in order to reduce costs and keep the project on track with regards to the £55.7bn budget. This is all down to the fact that the exact costs we not fully appreciated before the contractors were appointed.
The Chief Executive, Mark Thurston has no plans to allow the project to go over budget despite making it clear that the actual budget for phase one was put in place in 2015, hence how they were unable to identify the true cost.
Therefore, HS2 is currently talking with contractors in order to close the gap although the size of that gap will not be revealed. Despite this, there is a certain positivity surrounding the project and how it will come within budget. It is all about making use of the capability that they have and that the project will fall in line with the level of funding that the government can afford.
In July 2017, it became apparent that HS2 had awarded the phase one civils packages to joint ventures which includes Balfour Beatty, Bouygues, Costain, Eiffage, Kier, Sir Robert McAlpin, Skanska, Strabag, Vinci and VolkerFitzpatrick at a budget of £6.6bn.
Earlier this year, the start date for phase one civils construction was pushed back by HS2 from March 2019 to June 2019 in order to provide contractors with the chance to finalise their designs. This would be the second time that the work has been pushed back, with the work originally planned to begin this month.
This week it was revealed by HS2 the value of the works package for Birmingham’s Curzon Street Station which has a value of as much as £435m. However, Mr Thurston indicated that the delay in the start of civils work was to ensure that HS2 could deal with the intricacies of the design. He seems confident that spending more time on phase one and its design will ensure that stage 2 is more efficient.