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Network Rail embroiled in conflict of interest row over its new ‘special director’​

richard brown The Independent reports that Network Rail is embroiled in a conflict of interest row after the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin drafted in a “special director” to keep an eye on the ailing organisation. Mr McLoughlin asked the former Eurostar chairman Richard Brown to sit on Network Rail’s board last month when he confirmed that the state-backed group’s £38.5bn spending programme was in disarray. However, Mr Brown is also a deputy chairman at HS2 Ltd, which is behind the £42.6bn High…

Hybrid Bill Select Committee sessions 13 to 16 July​

aylesbury vale Monday 13 July 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm Chiltern District, Council Buckinghamshire County Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Chilterns Conservation Board Tuesday 14 July 9.30 am – 12.30 pm 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm Chiltern Society, Halton Parish Council Wendover Parish Council, Wendover Society, Wendover HS2 Wednesday 15 July 9.30 am – 11.30 am 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm Chiltern District Council,Buckinghamshire County Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council The Chilterns Conservation Board Thursday 16…

Huddersfield MP insists rethink of HS2 must follow trans-Pennine electrification delays​

barry sheerman mp The Examiner is calling for a major U-turn on plans to improve the trans-Pennine rail line. There was a lot of anger and concern when Transport Minister Patrick McLaughlin shelved the electrification plans a week ago. Many fear it will not aid the region’s bid to become a so-called Northern Powerhouse, linking up the major cities of Manchester and Leeds and incorporating the councils including Kirklees and Calderdale. In concert with our sister paper across the Pennines, Manchester Evening News, we're calling…

Iver faces further HGV problems because of HS2 development​

lorry Villagers blighted by HGVs face the prospect of the problem increasing if the HS2 project goes ahead as planned. People living in Iver have long been troubled by HGVs travelling through the village to access industrial sites. The parish council has been looking into a relief road around Iver in order to put a stop to the issue, but this could now be under threat because of HS2. The high speed rail project wants to use a site in Old…

Select committee orders HS2 ground movement review for Hillingdon​

construction 2 Department for Transport lead counsel Timothy Mould has told the HS2 select committee that errors have been discovered in sections used during petitioning from a Hillingdon resident. The error on the cross-section, which gave a dimension between the running tunnel closest to the petitioner’s property and the surface of the ground, was revealed during a later evidence session. “We have, I regret to say, discovered that that dimension as shown on that exhibit was incorrect, and it exaggerated the distance…

Birmingham MP Liam Byrne threatens to ‘occupy’ industrial land, in row with HS2 bosses​

liam byrne MP Liam Byrne says the planned HS2 high speed rail line will cost Birmingham thousands of jobs unless changes are made Birmingham MP Liam Byrne has threatened to stage a sit-in on industrial land earmarked for a new business park which could create hundreds of jobs, if high speed rail line bosses block the development. He condemned HS2 Ltd, the government-owned business which is building a new rail line from London to Birmingham, for failing to listen to the concerns of Birmingham City Council and MPs.…

Government defends HS2 from House of Lords criticism​

tracks The Daily Telegraph reports the Government has defended its plans for High Speed 2 against criticism from the House of Lords that it had failed to make a “convincing" economic case for the £50bn rail project. The Department for Transport said it was “confident” the argument for the high-speed line connecting London to the North was “clear and robust” and that HS2 “will have a transformational effect, supporting growth and increased productivity across the country, particularly in the North”. It said the…

The economics of HS2: government’s response to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report​

parliament from thames To read the government's response to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report on the economics of HS2 click here 2 July

Will HS2 be undeliverable?​

cheryl latest On the same day that the Secretary of State for Transport was at the despatch box announcing the shelving of rail upgrades and replacing the leadership of Network Rail, the government also published the Major Project Reports from 2011 and 2012 on HS2. These reports had been prevented from being published by the Secretary of State, who had been overridden by the Information Commissioner. The reports show the enormous risks posed by the HS2 project. “ In the light of…

HS2 and the ‘advantage of not working on a live railway’​

line laying One of the arguments for building HS2 is that repairing or upgrading an existing operational railway is hard to do. With new-build, the costs are much more predictable. The reasoning goes something like this: ‘An overnight possession (of an existing railway) might give a working window of only four or five hours to do useful work. The rest of an eight-hour possession might be just spent getting workers, equipment, and materials to the worksite and out again.’ HS2 construction sites…
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