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HS2 pear tree felling ‘to be reviewed’, says government​

peartree Plans to chop down an ancient pear tree to make way for the HS2 high-speed rail link are to be reviewed, the government has said. The pear tree, near Cubbington, in Warwickshire, is one of the oldest in Britain, campaigners say. Transport minister John Hayes said he would look into whether the 200-year-old tree could be replanted in another location. However, experts said replanting the tree would be "prone to failure". 'Ancient qualities' The Ancient Tree Forum, a charity set…

Only one person thinks HS2 compensation is adequate, says official consultation analysis​

tracks Whilst the Department for Transport has justified its decision not to revise HS2 compensation proposals because there was ‘no consensus’ resulting from the 2014 consultation, the analysis of responses paints a rather different picture,  and suggests that responses to the consultation may again have been ‘mislaid’. The proposals which were consulted on in 2014 were the Cash Offer and Homeowner Payment schemes which will be available for home owners on Phase 1 of the proposed route. According to the Government, these statistics do not represent…

Crossrail disruption is ‘warning’ for HS2 construction​

Crossrail bridge A rail project which has caused disruption in a village is being seen as a warning for the construction of HS2. Since last year, work has been carried out in and around Iver to put in place the Crossrail network, a new rail system aimed at creating better rail links from the East to the West of London, and decreasing travel time across the capital. Iver is one of the stations included on the Crossrail link but in order for…

MP on HS2: North Warwickshire is worst affected borough outside of London​

dan byles 2 North Warwickshire is the ‘worst affected borough outside of London’ by the proposed £50 billion High Speed Rail project. That is the view of the area’s MP Dan Byles who spoke at length in a House of Commons debate on HS2 recently. The Conservative MP, who will not stand for re-election in this May’s General Election, restated his opposition to the project and supported a call for a referendum. “My views on this project are well known and I have voted…

Christopher Pincher calls for clarity on HS2 stock maintenance depot​

christopher pincher 2 MP for Tamworth, Christopher Pincher, last week sought clear confirmation from ministers that there are no plans to move the HS2 stock maintenance depot, planned for a site at Washwood Heath, to another location. His call came after prominent Labour politicians in Birmingham suggested that Washwood Heath should be earmarked for an enterprise zone and the maintenance depot moved elsewhere, possibly to a greenfield site near Middleton next to Drayton Bassett in Lichfield District. Birmingham Labour MP Liam Byrne has…

The basis of Labour’s qualified support for HS2…still a mystery​

parliament exterior 4 The funding referendum debate on Friday provided another opportunity for the Labour Party to set out in detail the basis for its qualified support for the project. Since its 2013 Conference the Party has followed the Shadow Chancellor’s ‘no blank cheque’ approach to HS2. Over that time there has been an absence of clarity with respect to what that means in reality. The Shadow Transport Secretary, Lilian Greenwood, was given the chance to enlighten MPs. The following exchanges took place.…

Frank Dobson spells out the scale of the opposition to HS2​

frank dobson The Commons debate on a funding referendum for HS2 proved to be an excellent opportunity to add some facts to the high-speed hyperbole which invariably characterises the case put forward  in support of the project. Frank Dobson MP To say that this is an unpopular idea is an understatement. In March last year, polling by ComRes showed that 52% of the UK population generally were against it and 30% were in favour. Last autumn it got a bit worse, from…

HS2 Select Committee visits​

cherwell select committee In the run up to the Select Committee, David has been in touch with the House of Commons Clerk of Private Bills handling the HS2 legislation, Neil Caulfield, to discuss the  constituents visiting the committee room in which the petitions will be heard. This is a process that individuals from other areas have consistently said that it was very useful as preparation for their hearings in front of a Select Committee. Parliamentary Committees work in a very specific manner and…

Campaigners from villages near Leamington put forward petitions to reduce impact of HS2 route​

farming cla Campaigners from villages near Leamington have put three key suggestions before a parliamentary select committee which 
they believe will reduce the 
impact of HS2 on the area they live in. Representatives of the joint parish council of Offchurch, Eathorpe, Hunningham and Wappenbury, Cubbington parish council, Weston-Under-Wetherley and the Cubbington and Offchurch HS2 action groups appeared at Westminster on Tuesday to put their case forward to the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill Select Committee. The three main changes…

HS2 Select Committee Comments on Warwickshire Petitions​

train pic The chair of the HS2 Select Committee has made statements on issues raised by Warwickshire petitions heard to date. In his statements, Mr Robert Syms provided the committee’s views on the requests made by communities in Kingsbury, Middleton and Water Orton. The full statement (open in extarnal site). His comments on Berkswell and Balsall Common issues, including the Kenilworth Greenway. Mr Syms made further remarks about local authority costs on January 19, during a statement by the Promoter on compensation packages. Warwickshire County Council 23 January
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