Heathrow gets £9M payout from DfT for HS2 work at Old Oak Common affecting Heathrow Express
Heathrow Express is a wholly owned subsidiary of Heathrow Airport Holdings.
Question by Baroness Randerson Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport)
House of Lords Debate
24th July 2019
My Lords, the Minister is very firm in her assurances, and I would like to think that we can be convinced that HS2 will be built. However, the new Prime Minister has cast serious doubt on it and the Minister has referred to HS2 being subject to review. I therefore ask her to explain why £9 million has been given as compensation to Heathrow Airport in preparation for HS2, despite this ongoing review. Can she confirm the press reports that the £9 million will be paid even if HS2 does not go ahead?
Reply by Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
Work continues on HS2 and that £9 million was part of that work. To date, HS2 has spent £7.4 billion. The review I referred to was done by the current chairman of HS2; it may be that there is a separate, second external review. I welcome the new Prime Minister’s reported focus on infrastructure. Infrastructure is critically important to our country and very complex, and sometimes it represents a large and slow-moving target for criticism. It is essential that we get infrastructure right and that it is fit for purpose.
Heathrow receives £9M payout for HS2 work at Old Oak Common
16 JUL, 2019
BY SAM SHOLLI (New Civil Engineer)
Transport secretary Chris Grayling has signed off on a £9M payout to be handed to Heathrow Airport to prepare for High Speed 2 (HS2).
Heathrow will be pre-emptively handed the money by the DfT as compensation for knocking down a rail depot at Old Oak Common where Heathrow Express trains are kept.
The £9M figure was reported in Heathrow Express’ annual accounts.
It is understood that the sum will be paid irrespective of whether or not HS2 gets the go ahead following the Tory leadership race.
A government spokesperson said the compensation would be part of “a series of agreements to secure the future of the Heathrow Express service, while enabling the construction of a new HS2 station at Old Oak Common”.
“As noted in Heathrow’s accounts, £9M is part of our upfront compensation for additional operating costs incurred under these agreements,” the spokesperson also said.
A Heathrow Express spokesperson added: “As part of this agreement Heathrow Express agreed to vacate its train care depot at Old Oak Common to make way for the development of HS2.”
News of the £9M expense comes after it was revealed that HS2 Ltd had terminated its search for a contractor to design and build the £435M Birmingham Curzon Street Station after increasing concern regarding risk transfer.
The high speed rail project’s promoter has now relaunched its procurement process to provide a “better balance” and create “a more competitive process”.