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Forget thriving South East and focus on our neglected regions​

hs2-rail-link_13 The Government should stop HS2 and spend half the sum saved on speedy connections between northern and Scottish cities and enhancing Northern and Western ports and airports. There is a select committee for the development of other countries but none for the regional development of Britain. There are no fewer than three House of Commons committees to monitor MPs but none to examine UK regional development. As the regional distortions of economic development reach record levels and mass movements of…

MPs to debate second reading of High Speed Rail Bill on 28 April​

parliament debate MPs are to debate the second reading of the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill in the House of Commons on Monday 28 April 2014.  The debate is expected to start at 3.30pm following the conclusion of Home Office Questions, but could be later if any Urgent Questions or Ministerial Statements are granted on the day. Timings are approximate and Parliamentary business is subject to change. Watch the second reading debate of the High Speed Rail Bill live on…

Kenilworth Council set to fend off ‘ghost town’ status​

hs2-aa27a9-224x120[1]_1_26 Councillors have turned their attention to fight off devastating effects which will leave them in a ‘ghost town’ rather than trying to fend off HS2. Kenilworth’s town councillors agreed to shift focus from fighting off the high speed line to instead prevent the billion pound scheme devastating the town’s businesses. Speaking at a meeting on Thursday night, Cllr George Illingworth (Con, Abbey) said that with the HS2 hybrid bill ready to go back before mainly supportive MPs, there is very…

Newham Council to petition Government to save HS2 Stratford link​

train out of tunnel Newham Council is set to petition the Government to save a High Speed 2 link in Stratford. It is calling for ministers to consider using Stratford International as a gateway for business growth by connecting HS2 with HS1, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. The plea comes after a recent review by Sir David Higgins, chairman of HS2, which led the government to confirm that it is taking steps to remove the previously agreed link. Councillor Conor McAuley, executive member for…

Stoke’s HS2 Vision is Coming with a Hefty Price Tag​

hs2 blurred image_23 The strategy seemingly adopted by the Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd to win hearts and minds has two strands. First, it's to promote the message that with HS2 everyone's a winner and, second, to exaggerate the project's benefits. And the approach seems to be working. In this respect, the news that Stoke City Council is spending over £240,000 in an effort to persuade the Government to include a station in the Potteries is hardly surprising. The DfT is anxious…

Hundreds are due at protest against HS2​

HS2 white elephant parliament 2008274c[1]_2 Hundreds of protesters are to descend on Westminster for a second time to demonstrate against HS2 on the day the controversial project is voted on by MPs, it was revealed today. Campaigners from Staffordshire will join action groups from around the country to rally against the £50 billion scheme on Monday. MPs are due to debate the new high speed line late into night for the second reading of the legislation. Dozens of Tory MPs are expected to rebel against…

Oxon: Cherwell bids to divert route of HS2 works​

canal In Saturday's Oxford Mail, we reported that councillors atCherwell District Council had rejected plans to spend £14,000 opposing part of the HS2 rail link scheme. That was incorrect. The council, on the back of votes from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors, passed a resolution to spend the money petitioning to get the Government to alter its construction plans because of the effect on Banbury. Council leader Barry Wood said councillors sat “in stunned silence” after being told that the town’s M40…

HS2 and the average car journey​

traffic The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee ‘may well have overlooked arguments that the Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd had significantly underestimated the likely transfer of motorists and airline passengers to rail travel after HS2 is completed — an important consideration, since the average car journey results in three times more carbon dioxide per kilometre travelled than the equivalent train journey, and a short-haul air passenger produces even more CO2‘, according to Railnews (Alan Marshall). “Encouraging travellers to switch from cars and airlines…

Northants: Council to petition HS2​

kingsash Government plans for a high speed rail line through Northants will be petitioned by a number of local authorities.   Last week South Northants Council, a member of 51M a group of 19 local authorities committed to opposing HS2, voted to call for the Government’s select committee to change elements of the plan. The council will ask the committee to consider noise standards, visual impact and intrusion, local design standards, construction issues and the height of the rail line following…

‘Visionary’ politicians’ HS2 hotch-potch​

hs2 crossrail_0 Boris Johnson, who often succeeds in baffling friends and foe alike with sweeping generalities, has, this week, come up with a concept that requires attention (click here for full story). As part of the HS2 project, he wants a tunnel built under Camden to link up with the Eurostar – at St Pancras or elsewhere further along the line, he doesn’t make clear. However, with modern tunnelling engineering at such a high level – consider the marvel of Crossrail – critics…
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