You may expect the us here at C@W to deplore the rising costs of HS2 (hint, looking back to 2013, we have amazingly been consistent on this) as the gross workings of an excessive public sector.
The sheer rise in costs in incredible, nearly quadrupling from the initial estimates and there are some reasons why which make it so:
1) Ploughing through the home counties and London has led to a lot of legal challenges as a lot of expensive compulsory purchases of land. In China, where they doe things more cheaply, they given you an option of leaving your house or being bulldozed within it - saves on funeral costs too.
2) In a bid to be green a lot of allowances have been made not to damage the countryside. Again in many countries the simpler and cheaper option is to build up and over the forests etc on a raise trainline. It looks terrible and long term is more costly to maintain but is much cheaper to get going with.
3) With a dearth of other big contracts to do, the private companies involved have gold plated the contracts to extract as much value as they can from the Government.
Despite this, what else are the Government going to do to revitalise the North. In a less climate change affected state we could build a ton of new airports like the US and have much easier access to flying but that is not 'going to fly' with politicians today. There are no easy choices that will enable large scale upgrades and whilst extending motorways is all very well that needs to be done as well, not instead of HS2.
Additionally, electric trains can be run off a main grid so again they are long term a more sustainable form of mass transit.
All in all, it will be very disappointing if the Government cave in to lobbying and cancel this project at a time when UK borrowing costs are still near all time lows. If anything we should be pressing the button on these projects and looking to extend the service to Scotland and Northern Ireland over the next few decades.