HS2 contractor Carillion’s collapse will have no effect on the parts of the high-speed line due to be built in the Warwick district, according to campaigners.
Peter Delow, the chairman of the Cubbington Action Group Against HS2, said the two contractors for the parts of the line which will run through woodland outside the village and through Burton Green near Kenilworth are Balfour Beatty and French company VINCI.
Mr Delow said: “Carillion was covering parts of the project further south.
“But the contracts were awarded after the warnings about Carillion were out there in July last year yet there was supposed to have been a process of due diligence.
“It doesn’t give you much confidence in that process.
“And now other companies will have to take up the slack overall which makes you wonder why they weren’t just picked to do more in the first place.
“It won’t stop the project but it could cause some delays overall.”
Kenilworth resident Joe Rukin, the campaign manager for stop HS2, was even more scathing about the Government’s decision to award the contract.
He 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, and many saw the award of the HS2 contract at the time simply as an attempt to prop up an ailing Conservative donor.”
“We have no doubt there will be all the usual implausible scripted 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, the same way that anyone who claims a project which is already two years behind schedule won’t slip further is in cloud cuckoo land.”
“This whole farce has swung the spotlight back on HS2, and as ever before this unwanted white elephant is in trouble.
“Hopefully this will remind politicians that there is still chance to cancel HS2 before even more taxpayers money is committed to this gravy train.”
Carillion was Britain’s second largest construction contractor but it ran up huge debts of around £1.5 billion.