HS2 is also an ambitious project.
If HS2 is cancelled, what does it mean for the UK?
Thornton could not comment as he is on the HS2 select committee.
As with so many things when it comes to HS2, that is an uncosted and unbudgeted extra.
And when it comes to HS2, for every argument, there's a counter argument.
Some 73 stations across the country stand to benefit from the released capacity HS2 provides.
The government is expected to make a final decision on whether to give HS2 the green light next month.
When you look at HS2’s layout, the northern end of phase one is the natural point where it all fits together.
However, he declined to grant HS2 a possession order at the moment, saying questions remained about this issue.
Boris Johnson gave the final green light to HS2 in February, with plans for the project over budget and behind schedule.
Once HS2 is in operation it will be seven times greener than travelling by car and 17 times greener than domestic air travel.
We believe HS2 as currently planned will cause a significant net loss of biodiversity and that the government’s claim is unjustified.”
The NAO report is scathing of the way that the project has been handled by HS2 Ltd, the company set up by the government to deliver the project.
The upgrades would only deal with capacity and not delivery any of the journey times benefits of HS2, or the capacity of passengers actually carried on HS2 itself.
The Oakervee review and HS2 Ltd chair Allan Cook’s project stocktake offer a necessary, considered and transparent view of how much HS2 will cost, and how long it will take to build.
Trevor Forrester is one of the "Stop HS2" campaigners in Staffordshire who say HS2 Ltd are tacitly encouraging local authorities to fight one another over where HS2 stations should be built.
To cancel HS2 now would undermine a decade’s worth of plans to improve our regional networks, the vast majority of which either intend to utilise HS2’s new infrastructure, require the capacity it releases, or will capitalise on the growing number of people using the railway every year.
Mark Thurston, chief executive of HS2 Ltd, said: "The issuing of notice to proceed today ensures that our contractors and their supply chains have the confidence that they can commit to building HS2, generating thousands of skilled jobs across the country as we recover from the pandemic."
But adding new services by “freeing up capacity” is incompatible with the HS2 business case which specifically expects a net cut of £11.1bn to existing rail services, double the “cost savings” proposed back in 2010 when HS2 Ltd were honest enough to admit exactly which towns and cities would lose trains.
A statement said the group "wish to emphasise the public resistance to HS2'S destruction of our ancient woodland and wildlife habitats, and HS2'S failure to stop construction works at multiple sites breaching HSE Covid guidelines and exposing their workers, protesters, families and communities to unnecessary risk during a national health crisis".
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A statement said the group wish to emphasise the public resistance to HS2'S destruction of our ancient woodland and wildlife habitats and HS2'S failure to stop construction works at multiple sites breaching HSE Covid guidelines and exposing their workers protesters families and communities to unnecessary risk during a national health crisis