HS2 Ltd has already spent more than £1 billion before the legislation to build it has passed through Parliament and before a single foot of track has been laid.

Large sums of money have been paid in “facility fees” to local residents for allowing access to their land or property. One opponent of HS2 said she had received 17 separate visits, collecting payments of between £160 and £1,000 for each visit.

HS2 is also taking over four floors of a prestigious new office development in central Birmingham at a rent of at least £2.8 million a year.

Lord Berkeley, chairman of the Rail Freight Group, which represents goods users on the railway network, said HS2 Ltd “hasn’t got a clue” what its costs are and now faces a “watershed” as the legislation to build it passes through a select committee of the House of Lords chaired by a former Supreme Court judge.

Ref: The Daily Telegraph