THE future of the UK Government’s much delayed and over budget HS2 project was thrown into doubt this weekend – prompting questions from some Tory backbenchers as to whether the rail link would ever come to fruition.

The Times reported on Saturday that the project, which is billions of pounds over budget and predicted to be delivered around a decade late, may never directly connect central London with other stations as intended.

The paper reported that as well as potentially stopping the line six miles from Euston – its intended terminus – the route could end in west London. And ministers were also said to be considering scrapping a key section of the route which would connect Birmingham with Manchester.

Speaking in the Commons on Monday, Tory former Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom, asked the Government: “Is this project going ahead or isn’t it?”

It is just one example of Britain’s apparent inability to address its major infrastructure challenges in the 21st century.

‘Cannibalised’ warship

A Royal Navy warship set off for the US earlier this month, more than a year after it was supposed to.

The HMS Prince of Wales originally set sail across the Atlantic in August 2022 but was forced to turn around after a major mechanical failure less than 24 hours into the crossing.

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It was “cannibalised” for parts when it was taken to the Babcock shipyard in Rosyth. This means its parts were taken to repair another ship – something the then-defence secretary Ben Wallace insisted was “perfectly normal”.

More frigates

Type 26 warships were supposed to be delivered by 2020 but it’s now expected they won’t enter Royal Navy service until 2028.

The submarine hunters are being built at the BAE Systems yard in Glasgow and the total cost of the project is £8 billion.


The persistent difficulties in building two ferries at the Ferguson yard in Port Glasgow has blown up into a major political scandal as the two ships remain undelivered and the islanders they are intended to serve remain feeling let down by the service linking them to the mainland.

The MV Glen Sannox is due to enter service in autumn this year, while the 802 (recently renamed as MV Glen Rosa) isn’t expected until next autumn.