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Government responds to HS2 property concerns​

11 Februay, 2016

Crossrail bridge The Government has responded to concerns raised by the House of Commons Select Committee on the High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill in its First Special Report on December 17 2015, regarding compensation for property owners affected by the construction of HS2. Among its responses, the Government says it will undertake a review of the language in the Need to Sell (NTS) scheme, in order to “reduce the perception of it being uninviting or daunting in terms of the evidential…

‘We want a thorough understanding of local issues’: HS2 recruiting ‘go to’ people for communities​

10 February, 2016

farming cla A team of ‘dedicated community engagement specialists’ is to be recruited by HS2 Ltd to ‘understand and respond to the views of people’ living along its route. The eleven specialist roles will be based in regions along the proposed route for phase one of HS2, between London and the West Midlands. Their primary role will be to ‘ensure that HS2 is both talking and listening to all those who are affected by the project in their area’, the government body…

Mayor of London opens Crossrail and HS2 public consultation​

9 February, 2016

tracks 5 The Mayor of London will consult members of the public about the High Speed 2 and Crossrail development at Old Oak and Park Royal. Boris Johnson expects the development, which includes one of the largest new stations to be built in the UK, will help to deliver 25,500 new homes. The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) has issued plan for the area with a consultation period running until 31st March. Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for Planning and…

Keeping HS2 costs on track looks like a juggling act​

9 February, 2016

money The Public Committee has always seen through the bluster surrounding HS2. In September, 2013 its report on the project observed – The programme’s large contingency appears to be compensating for weak cost information. The Department is 95% confident that it will stay within the £42.6 billion indicative budget it has agreed with HM Treasury for the full Y-network (excluding the £7.5 billion cost of trains). This figure includes £14.4 billion (a third of the total budget) for contingencies, although even this…

HS2 and the South West​

9 February, 2016

somerset-floods The recent Commons debate on the Great Western Railway routes highlighted the enormous disparity between infrastructure investment in the regions and HS2. The latest gross cost for HS2, including Barnett formula payments, is £61.3bn. This means that the contribution from taxpayers across the region’s 22 parliamentary constituencies will be just over £2bn. Even the most fervent supporters of HS2 will be hard pressed to say what the taxpayers of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset will get for their money. Indeed, it…

South West MPs urged to rebel over HS2 until region gets £7 billion investment​

9 February, 2016

train image 2 Tory MPs from the West should rebel over the HS2 high speed rail link unless David Cameron and George Osborne live up to their promises for investment in the region, a former minister has said. Labour's only MP in Devon and Cornwall, Ben Bradshaw, last night warned his neighbouring Tories that they could lose their seats if the Government does not deliver on promised funding for railways in the region. The Prime Minister and Chancellor made "grandiose" promises of £7…

Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into HS2​

8 February, 2016

nick hurd 2 From Nick Hurd MP- The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACA) are looking into complaints against HS2, in terms of engagement with the public and their consultation process. In November 2015, the PHSO published its Report of an investigation into a complaint about HS2 Ltd. The investigation looked at HS2 Ltd’s communication and engagement with a particular group of residents, including how it had handled complaints. It found that “overall HS2 Ltd’s actions fell below the reasonable standards we would expect, so…

Rising HS2 costs described as ‘exceptionally worrying’​

6 February, 2016

construction Construction estimates for the HS2 Phase Two train line have shot up by 39 per cent in a development that has been described as ‘exceptionally worrying’. The plans which propose to bring a train station to Leigh have been met with concerns. Those concerns will be heightened after a committee of MPs were told last Thursday of the significant Phase Two price jump. MP for Leigh Andy Burnham said: “This definitely adds to the concerns to see if this money…

Trust blasts HS2 for ‘disguising’ damage to woodland​

5 February, 2016

mantle's wood The Woodland Trust has slammed HS2 for ‘disguising the irrevocable loss and damage’ of green spaces such as Decoypond Wood and the nature reserve at Calvert Jubilee. It says 63 ancient woods along the first phase of the route will be affected by HS2. Giving evidence to the HS2 Select Committee on Wednesday, the trust accused HS2 of ‘making error after error, using flawed calculations, and using methods that go against government guidance’. And it implored rail chiefs to think…

HS2 agree to pay council £500k for road works​

4 February, 2016

hs2 train image HS2 Ltd have agreed to invest almost half a million pounds to in road safety work for south Bucks after months of negotiations with a campaign group. The A4010 campaign group, who work closely with Buckinghamshire County Council, won £480,000 from the company to pay for road safety measures at key sections of the route between High Wycombe and Stoke Mandeville, as well as the A4129 between Thame and Princes Risborough. The announcement follows the news that campaigners were successful…
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