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“Deliberate misinformation” claim over HS2 costs​

train image 2 A councillor has accused the company behind HS2 of "deliberate misinformation" after a Freedom of Information request showed it does not know the current cost of the project. The estimated £50billion cost of the scheme is based on 2011 prices, when the route of HS2 was confirmed as cutting through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Chiltern District Council's Seb Berry submitted an FOI request asking HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport for an estimate on the current cost…

The HS2 post election landscape starts to emerge​

hs2 lichfield viaduct_3 This week’s kerfuffle over the extension of the high-speed line northwards will come as no surprise to observers of the company behind the project. HS2 Ltd has a track record of being dismissive of anyone challenging the scheme and treating those whose lives and livelihoods will be devastated by project with contempt. The Queen’s Speech yesterday dealt with phase 1 of the scheme from London to Birmingham, making no reference to phase 2. Rumours suggests HS2 Ltd is having significant…

Queen’s Speech and HS2​

Queens Speech ‘My government will continue to legislate for high-speed rail links between the different parts of the country.’ This sees the reintroduction of the hybrid bill for the high speed rail link which was first introduced as a motion under the coalition government. It grants planning permission and compulsory purchase orders for the first phase of the HS2 route from London to the West Midlands [Birmingham]. The government is hoping for work to begin by 2017. This does not include legislation…

HS2: Latest plans for Euston shared​

euston above HS2 Ltd. shared their latest plans for Euston Station in May’s meeting with the Euston Community Representatives Group. The plans show that the HS2 terminus at Euston will be built on a phased basis, with the HS2 tracks and station expected to be completed by 2033, as initially revealed in February. However, this plan gives no guarantees on timescales or funding for a full development of the station in the future. The plans also do not commit to putting all the…

Queens speech: not HS2 beyond Birmingham​

parliament exterior 4 As expected the Queen’s speech today confirmed that legislation for HS2 will continue with the statement “My government will continue to legislate for high-speed rail links between the different parts of the country.” This is a lot less grand and important than it sounds. Firstly, if you look at the Government’s briefing notes, they say it only refers to Phase 1: “Provide the Government with the legal powers to construct and operate phase 1 of the High Speed 2 (HS2) railway. On becoming…

Super-fast trains are on the wrong track for a united Britain​

hs2 train from right_13 It was once described, by a Labour minister, as the “union railway” that would bring Scotland, England and Wales closer together. That was always a crazy claim – every study of the giddyingly expensive High Speed Two railway scheme says the biggest beneficiary by far is London and the south-east. Now it has been revealed the super-fast trains will never reach Scotland – because those in charge of HS2 claim there is “no business case” for it. Scots will still pay for it. The…

HS2 a multi-billion pound bridge too far for the rest of Britain​

watford art Before Scotland's referendum, we heard now and then that HS2, the high-speed rail link, would be among the benefits of Union put in peril if there was a vote for independence. The vote was No. Afterwards, we were not left in suspense, if you can call it suspense, for too long. If reports at the weekend were right, it's not coming. Even the old, vague story of "perhaps in 30 years" has given way to a claim, attributed to HS2…

Minister ‘unambitious and disrespectful’ over HS2​

keith brown One interesting fact about HS2 is that the project went into the Election with the the three main parties supporting it and came out of the Election with the three main parties supporting it - an important difference in terms of membership being the SNP replacing the Lib Dems.Observing how this new trio would play out was always going to be an intriguing spectacle. It has not taken long to find out how the new dynmaics are working.The Scotsman reports…

Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland face HS2 triple whammy​

british isles With reports circulating that the government has decided there is no business for taking the HS2 line into Scotland, it is clear Wales and Northern Ireland and Scotland face a financial triple whammy. First, taxpayers in each country will have to fund the project – at £50bn that means around £66 million per constituency. Second, HS2 will not just have a positive impact on regional economies - some will lose out in terms of future economic growth. Third, all three…

Government admit they do not know or care what HS2 costs are​

money STOP HS2 reports that two separate freedom of information requests have revealed that the UK Government does not have a current cost estimate for the HS2 project, and does not intend to create one. Whilst it is often reported that the HS2 project has an estimated cost of £50bn, that figure is still based on prices as they were in 2011. As such, Independent Chiltern District Councillor Seb Berry submitted this freedom of information request to both HS2 Ltd and the Department…
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