THE COLLAPSE of crisis-hit Carillion has led to criticism from anti-HS2 campaigners.
Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin says the liquidation of Carillion – which had been awarded part of the HS2 line contract – was the latest sign work should be stopped.
A total of 54 kilometres of the 190km HS2 high speed line will cut through the heart of Warwickshire, with the first trains set to run in 2026.
Kenilworth resident Mr Rukin said: “This is just the latest mess in a parade of spectacular disasters that have plagued the idiotic vanity project that is HS2, and the fact Carillion were even awarded the contract in the first place is symptomatic of the chronic mismanagement we have come to expect. It was clear at the time of the award that Carillion were in serious trouble, so we were amazed that they won.
“We have no doubt there will be all the usual denials that this will not cause any problems, that plans are in place and ‘HS2 remains on time and on budget’, but anyone who thinks that losing a contractor on a project plagued by massive budget over-runs won’t lead to an increase in costs is deluding themselves.
“Hopefully this will remind politicians that there is still chance to cancel HS2 before even more taxpayers money is committed to this gravy train.”
But HS2 bosses say Carillion was working alongside two other companies to deliver the contract, and they would now take on the extra workload.
A spokesman told the Observer: “The news about Carillion is clearly disappointing for them and the wider UK construction industry.
“The Carillion, Eiffage and Kier (CEK) joint venture has provided HS2 Ltd with assurances that in the event any member of the group is unable to deliver on its responsibilities, the remaining member would fill the gap.
“We are continuing to discuss the implementation of contingency plans. Work will continue as planned with no unnecessary or additional exposure to the taxpayer.”