The HS2 review team and what they say


Who’s who on inquiry panel and what have they already said about the scheme?

Concept image issued by Alstom Design & Styling 2019 showing their proposed design for a HS2 train.Photograph: Alstom Design & Styling 2019/PA

Chairs and final authors of the report:

Doug Oakervee, chair, civil engineer, former chair of Crossrail and HS2 Ltd:

If for the sake of future generations we are to support the economic growth of our country in a sustainable way, there really is only one choice – high-speed rail.

Lord Berkeley, deputy chair, Labour peer, civil engineer and ex-chair of the Rail Freight Group:

This project is probably 50% over [budget] already and they haven’t hardly started yet … If parliament voted for HS2 on false premises that calls into question the legitimacy of the project.

Advisory panellists

Stephen Glaister, transport professor and ex-chair of the Office of Rail and Road:

There was no big-picture analysis [of HS2]. We just don’t know whether there would have been a better way of spending the money.

Michele Dix, director of planning at Transport for London under Johnson, now managing director of Crossrail 2:

I think the regions have more to gain than London … it will provide increased capacity and capacity is at a premium, the trains are loaded, and we would welcome those increased provisions.

John Cridland, ex-CBI boss, now chair of Transport for the North:

In the coming years the UK will need more railway capacity … but it must be demonstrably clear that the benefits outweigh the costs.

Sir Peter Hendy, ex-TfL commissioner, now chair of Network Rail:

You want a compelling argument for HS2, see Birmingham: full of cranes, land values are going up, offices and houses being built.

Andrew Sentance, economist, ex-Bank of England monetary policy committee member:

HS2 may ultimately deliver some economic benefits in 15-20 years’ time, but it is not a magic bullet.

Tony Travers, London School of Economics academic:

If the same money – whether it’s GBP50bn or GBP70bn – were available for public transport in London, Birmingham, Manchester and other cities it’s hard to believe it wouldn’t be better used there.

Andy Street, West Midlands mayor:

HS2 … will literally unite the country and drive regeneration in the Midlands and the north.

Turning back … would be unthinkable.

Patrick Harley,Dudley council leader.

Described a planned tram extension to Birmingham’s future HS2 interchange as:

A real gamechanger for Dudley.


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