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France rejects TGV extension plans – which could be bad news for Britain’s proposed HS2 high-speed rail network​

train image 2 Public inquiry concludes that the new lines were too costly and would benefit only rich people and large cities - arguments similar to those used by opponents of HS2 in the UK France’s love affair with high-speed railways seems to be cooling almost as rapidly as the trains can travel. A public inquiry has rejected plans for two new TGV lines in south-west France, using arguments similar to those made by opponents of the proposed HS2 high-speed rail network in…

HS2 – Keep calm and carry on​

HS1 wall_9 It has not been the best of weeks for HS2 – a very critical report from the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee; an estimate of £56.6bn for the project cost at 2014 prices; but Patrick McLoughlin was out and about doing what he does best. The Secretary of State for Transport was assuring all those in earshot that as far as HS2 is concerned everyone is a winner. One thing all politicians love is a grand project and they…

HS2 landmark ruling could reveal ‘failings’​

top secret A damning report believed to highlight major concerns over the proposed £50bn high-speed rail line HS2 could be released following a landmark ruling. Ministers previously blocked the Major Projects Authority (MPA) document using a rare veto previously used to stop the the release of Iraq War papers. But a judgment by the Supreme Court that has compelled the government to release letters from Prince Charles to ministers has heaped pressure on the Government to now make the HS2 papers public.…

Case for £1.85bn HS2 Chilterns tunnel launched​

Map showing proposed HS2 route through Bucks and the alternative long tunnel Campaigners have launched a detailed report arguing the case for a tunnel which would better protect Wendover from the HS2 rail line. Under the current government plans, a deep bored tunnel will run only under south Bucks, with the line emerging overground near Great Missenden and a cut and cover structure (a ‘green tunnel’ in HS2 Ltd vocabulary) running past Wendover. However, a new study commissioned by Chiltern District Council and supported by Aylesbury Vale District Council, Buckinghamshire County Council…

HS2 select committee to visit Buckinghamshire in May, according to Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan​

misbourne The committee of MPs hearing evidence on the proposed HS2 railway line are due to visit Buckinghamshire in May, according to an MP. Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan said this week members of the HS2 select committee are likely to make a site visit to the county shortly after the General Election. Committee members have visited several other sites affected by the route of the line as part of the project's 'petitioning' process, which allows residents to raise concerns…

One in 5,000 believes HS2 compensation ‘adequate’​

houses rail line Just one person out of nearly 5,000 thought compensation being given to residents hit by HS2 was adequate, new figures reveal. Analysis shows that of the 4,970 people and organisations who responded to the Department for Transport consultation, only one thought the help available under the Homeowner Payment Scheme was adequate, with 4,039 said saying it was inadequate. Concerns were raised over the amount being too low and only applying to people who live very close to the proposed line.…

Report calls for HS2 tunnel to go the whole way through Chilterns​

tunnel group A new study has said creating a tunnel for HS2 through the whole width of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is more viable than the current proposals. The report, which was launched at Westminster Palace yesterday, said the proposed 24.2km tunnel would be less damaging to the environment and make greater economic sense. Boring a tunnel the whole way across the Chilterns would cost £1.85billion, the report said, compared to the £1.45billion currently set aside - but campaigners said…

Warrington: Hopes grow that HS2 spur will be axed​

train image 2 Weighty opposition is growing to the HS2 high speed rail line – and in particular the spur line that would affect 1,452 homes in Warrington. Transport Secretary Robert Goodwill has told Warrington North MP Helen Jones that her questions on the viability of the spur – which would devastate the villages of Culcheth and Hollins Green – are valid. In addition, a report by the House of Lords economic affairs committee has said the government has no convincing case for…

Information Commissioner rules for release of HS2 reports​

top secret The Information Commissioner, Graham Smith, has again ruled that updated Major Project Authority reports about HS2 should be published. This follows his previous ruling that the Cabinet Office should release the MPA report on HS2 from November 2011, which rated the project as ‘amber-red’, saying it was in danger of failing. This new decision coincides with yesterdays related Supreme Court judgement. On this occasion, the Commissioner has ruled that the copies of the MPA reports that were requested directly from HS2 Ltd must…

Plan B for the Chilterns if the government refuses to stop HS2​

hs2 tunnel entrance train_2 If the worst happens and HS2 goes ahead, plans are unveiled to show how nationally protected areas like Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty could be better mitigated by a fully-bored tunnel. Interviews with Ray Payne (Chilterns Conservations Board) and Richard Houghton (HS2 Action Alliance). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghutbMWnhL8&sns=tw Three Counties Radio 26 March
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