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HS2 is a big draw​

HS2 train going left 20110903_LDP002_0[2]_6 At this early stage, eight months into Network Rail’s current five year funding period [Control Period 5], the cost estimates of many of its programmes have not yet been determined, said rail minister Claire Perry on December 16. [Railways: Infrastructure: Written question – 218298, response by Claire Perry] Network Rail continues to develop the Rail Investment Strategy programme with the Department and review costs with the Office of Rail Regulation. The Transport Secretary has been clear these projects should be delivered within…

Compensation scheme – what a difference a year makes​

HS1 wall_9 A new compensation scheme for those affected by Phase 1 of HS2, which was originally meant to have been in place by ‘Autumn 2014’ will now come out in January. The letter sent out to those affected states: “Given the busy nature of the Christmas period, with many people away from home visiting family and friends, we want to ensure that residents and communities who may be affected by HS2 do not receive information in a piecemeal way and that everyone…

New HS2 compensation scheme to be in place in January. Maybe.​

hs2 lichfield viaduct 2 A new compensation scheme for those affected by Phase 1 of HS2, which was originally meant to have been in place by ‘Autumn 2014’ will supposedly be in place in January 2015, according to HS2 Ltd. On 16th December, HS2 Ltd sent this email to some of the residents effected by HS2: “Dear Stakeholder You will wish to be aware that after careful consideration, the Secretary of State for Transport has decided that the launch of the discretionary schemes to assist those…

HS2 compensation scheme launch delayed​

hs2 blurred image_18 A compensation scheme for residents affected by the route of the planned HS2 high speed rail link will not be launched until the new year. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin told Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan in a letter that the scheme will now begin in January. He had earlier indicated the scheme - to provide compensation to people whose lives would be blighted from living close to the proposed line - would start "by the end of 2014". People…

HS2 Ltd annual spend rises to £208m​

money Government company HS2 Ltd has spent more than £440m since it was incorporated in January 2009, according to its latest annual report. The company, which is entirely grant-aid funded by the DfT, received £208.4m for the financial year ended 31 March 2014. Expenditure has grown exponentially since the project started to take shape: from £9.4m (2010); to £14.6m (2011); £33.9m (2012); and £176.4m (2013). The total DfT payout to date comes to £442.8m. Transportextra 17 December

The Euston Challenge​

euston It has become increasingly clear that despite all the assurances coming from HS2 Ltd and the DfT, how to bring HS2 into Euston station is proving a tough nut to crack. With so much in the air, Direct General of High Speed 2 Group David Prout’s statement to a recent session of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee that the Euston redevelopment to accommodate HS2 would come in on budget, seemed complacent in the extreme. Stop HS2’s view Sir…

Euston, We (still) have a problem​

euston above A few weeks ago, we highlighted the problems with HS2’s plans for Euston, which HS2 Ltd had admitted were not ‘fundable’. This was then picked up in the Sunday Telegraph – HS2 ‘slowly dying’ as Euston terminus plan grinds to halt – although HS2 Ltd spokesperson, Ben Ruse claimed this was merely a ‘pause’ (the Heathrow spur has now been ‘paused’ for nearly two years). David Higgins tried to put the alternative view with the BBC, claiming that “We haven’t stopped anything and haven’t delayed…

High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill: register of undertakings and assurances​

canal This register provides information on the commitments made in relation to the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill Documents Register of undertakings and assurances MS Excel Spreadsheet, 120KB Note on undertakings and assurances PDF, 91.2KB, 1 page Detail High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd has published the first version of the register of undertakings and assurances. The register details all commitments offered throughout the parliamentary process for the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill up to 13 November 2014. The…

McLoughlin at the Lords​

mcloughlin Over recent months, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has been conducting an inquiry into HS2. On 9th December, it was the turn of the DfT and HS2 Ltd to give evidence. Lord Hollick started the meeting pointing out that the business case for HS2 relies on putting cash values onto the time passengers would save by going faster, and that the numbers involved might not be robust as they were derived from a survey of car users conducted in…

Britain’s infrastructure craze has echoes of Japan’s debt-fuelled building boom​

money The recent announcement that the projected cost of Crossrail 2 has risen to £27bn should be cause for deep concern within the Treasury. Added to HS2 and HS3, this means the total budget of just three planned or proposed rail schemes could be close to £100bn – or perhaps even higher, given the overruns so typical of big government projects. Economic conditions amplify the financial risks. The deficit remains stubbornly high, while robust medium-term growth cannot be guaranteed given the…
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