I believe that transport infrastructure, if implemented effectively, can drive economic growth and redistribute opportunity by supporting towns and cities around the UK. It is only right, however, that infrastructure projects which involve significant amounts of taxpayer funding should be subject to continuous assessment, particularly with regard to costs and benefits.
To this end, the Prime Minister has launched an independent review of the HS2 project. It is encouraging that the review will be led by Douglas Oakervee, who has considerable experience of major projects over a 60-year career; he will no doubt be ably assisted by Lord Berkeley, who will work as his deputy.
Moreover, a panel of experts will support their work, bringing together a variety of perspectives from the worlds of business and academia, as well as the transport sector. I am confident that this will help ensure the review is independent, in-depth and objective.
Through thorough analysis of evidence, the review will look into whether and how HS2 should go forward. It will consider HS2's benefits and impacts, affordability and efficiency, deliverability and scope, as well as it's phasing, including its relationship with Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The review will offer clear advice on the future of HS2 to the Government in the autumn, and it will inform how the project proceeds. It is important to note that in the meantime, limited work on the project will continue.