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Will HS2 be undeliverable?​

cheryl latest On the same day that the Secretary of State for Transport was at the despatch box announcing the shelving of rail upgrades and replacing the leadership of Network Rail, the government also published the Major Project Reports from 2011 and 2012 on HS2. These reports had been prevented from being published by the Secretary of State, who had been overridden by the Information Commissioner. The reports show the enormous risks posed by the HS2 project. “ In the light of…

HS2 and the ‘advantage of not working on a live railway’​

line laying One of the arguments for building HS2 is that repairing or upgrading an existing operational railway is hard to do. With new-build, the costs are much more predictable. The reasoning goes something like this: ‘An overnight possession (of an existing railway) might give a working window of only four or five hours to do useful work. The rest of an eight-hour possession might be just spent getting workers, equipment, and materials to the worksite and out again.’ HS2 construction sites…

Heathrow plan involves rail upgrades, but no HS2 spur​

Heathrow Airport The Airports Commission has supported proposals to build a third runway at Heathrow, in the face of rigorous opposition from environmental groups and politicians, including Boris Johnson. The report says a new runway would cost £17.6 billion but boost the economy by £147 billion. Major transport upgrades costing some £5 billion would be needed to cope with the additional demand. Some new rail schemes -- particularly Crossrail -- are already in progress. The Commission also envisages direct railway connections from…

HS2 is yet another politically-driven project in search of a rationale​

????????????????????????????????????????? In the 1980s privatisation was the big new idea in economic policy. I posed a question over a drink one evening to a friend who worked in 10 Downing Street. What is this policy really about, I asked? Is it aimed at improving the efficiency of nationalised companies or curbing union power? Is it intended to widen share ownership or just a means of raising revenue? I have never forgotten his response. You misunderstand, he said, the nature of modern…

Hybrid Bill Select Committee evidence 1 July – Nick Hurd MP and Boris Johnson MP​

parliament exterior 4 To watch the session with presentations given by Nick Hurd MP and Boris Johnson MP click here Mr Hurd's presentation begins at 9.34am; Mr Johnson's at 10.03am.

HS2 – why it’s time to pull the plug on the fantasy – 2​

tracks It is surely a measure of the desperation of HS2 supporters that the best argument to be found by a respected consultancy like Volterra is “build it and they might come”. What about the Humber Bridge, sold as the key to Rotterdam or Antwerp-on-Humber? Why did Doncaster not become a growth hub when the east coast mainline was electrified and cut journey times to those promised for Sheffield? Why does the European evidence on high-speed rail consistently show that the…

HS2 – why it’s time to pull the plug on the fantasy – 1​

hs2 blurred image_18 Larry Elliott’s main argument in favour of HS2 (Why ‘build it, they will come’ might just work for HS2, 29 June) is a flimsy basis for spending £50bn of public money. If the key objective is to provide a catalyst for growth in the Midlands and the north, it is no less likely that HS2 will simply further increase the economic dominance of London and the south-east. The same £50bn really could be spent on transport projects that would benefit…

Hybrid Bill Select Committee evidence 30 June – inc Chilterns long tunnel​

parliament exterior 4 You can watch the session with presentation given by David Liddington MP click here Mr Liddington's presentation begins at 14.37pm and concludes at 14.53pm.

MPs ‘disappointment’ over electrification delays on Midland Mainline​

kettering MPs have spoken of their disappointment after news that plans for electrification of the Midland Mainline near Kettering had been put on hold. Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin made the announcement last week, saying that rising costs and delays in schemes to improve other parts of the railway network has necessitated a move to ‘pause’ the £800 million project. Instead of upgrading the line, changes will be made to increase passenger capacity. Mr McLoughlin said: ““I am determined that the work…

Chilterns tunnel case goes before the select committee – 30 June​

train and tunnel Aylesbury MP David Lidington will be making an 'informal' presentation to the HS2 Select Committee today to put forward the case for an extended tunnel. Under the current plans, the tunnel will only run under South Bucks, with the line becoming overground near Great Missenden and then running past Wendover. The extended tunnel would stay underground until Stoke Mandeville, thereby protecting the whole of the Chilterns and also many residents along the route. He said "There are people in Wendover Dean,…
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