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High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill: register of undertakings and assurances​

canal This register provides information on the commitments made in relation to the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill Documents Register of undertakings and assurances MS Excel Spreadsheet, 120KB Note on undertakings and assurances PDF, 91.2KB, 1 page Detail High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd has published the first version of the register of undertakings and assurances. The register details all commitments offered throughout the parliamentary process for the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill up to 13 November 2014. The…

McLoughlin at the Lords​

mcloughlin Over recent months, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has been conducting an inquiry into HS2. On 9th December, it was the turn of the DfT and HS2 Ltd to give evidence. Lord Hollick started the meeting pointing out that the business case for HS2 relies on putting cash values onto the time passengers would save by going faster, and that the numbers involved might not be robust as they were derived from a survey of car users conducted in…

Britain’s infrastructure craze has echoes of Japan’s debt-fuelled building boom​

money The recent announcement that the projected cost of Crossrail 2 has risen to £27bn should be cause for deep concern within the Treasury. Added to HS2 and HS3, this means the total budget of just three planned or proposed rail schemes could be close to £100bn – or perhaps even higher, given the overruns so typical of big government projects. Economic conditions amplify the financial risks. The deficit remains stubbornly high, while robust medium-term growth cannot be guaranteed given the…

Official Government passenger forecasts destroy the case for HS2​

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Whilst the current mantra for Government is that HS2 is needed to deliver additional capacity on the rail network, a parliamentary question has revealed that the Department for Transport is not forecasting any growth at all in the number of rail passengers. In fact, the DfT are predicting that the number of rail passengers will peak in 2015 and, at least until 2040, never reach those heights again.

HS2 Ltd to carry out survey work in Maple Cross and West Hyde​

tracks 3 HS2 Ltd. is contacting landowners in Maple Cross and West Hyde to ask if they can carry out more survey work. Three Rivers District Council had been alerted after HS2 Ltd. said they would be carrying out further surveys in the area, but in a statement, they confirmed they would only be "minor changes" and said they would improve the route. Ben Ruse, lead spokesman for HS2 said: "Since the Bill for the first phase of HS2 went into Parliament in…

Major Projects Association has 75 unanswered questions on HS2, as Higgins hints at more delays​

tracks In addition to the Major Projects Authority [MPA], who have previously rated the HS2 project as ‘amber-red’, the Major Projects Association, an industry body, have 75 ‘complex questions’ which they want HS2 Ltd to address, according Sir David Higgins, the Chair of HS2 Ltd. In evidence to the House of Commons Governance Committee on November 26th, Higgins also hinted that the start date for constructing HS2, which is currently 2017, might be pushed back. In his evidence, Higgins told the committee he…

Taking a punt on £50bn​

parliament exterior 4 The latest session of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee looking into HS2 welcomed the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport; David Prout, Director General High Speed 2 Group, Department for Transport; and Lord Deighton, former Chairman, HS2 Growth Task Force. In terms of HS2 supporters, this was the A Team and the trio were not going to be sidetracked by reality or uncomfortable truths. The Secretary of State gave his accustomed masterclass in answering…

MPs call for change to ‘unfair’ tax laws which hit homeowners affected by HS2​

HS1 wall_9 Bucks MPs have written to the Treasury demanding reforms to ‘unfair’ tax laws on land which is compulsory purchased for HS2. David Lidington, MP for Aylesbury, Cheryl Gillan, MP for Chesham and Amersham and Dominic Grieve MP for Beaconsfield are among the signatories to the Country Land and Business Association’s (CLA’S) letter to the government. The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, approached several MPs asking for support for its tax reforms to make the compulsory purchase system…

Nick Hurd writes to Chairman of HS2​

nick hurd 2 Please see my latest letter to Sir David Higgins, Chairman of HS2 asking him to clarify a number of points including a review by HS2 of a tunnel extension under the Colne Valley, traffic implications and soil dumping in the area. as well as plans for the relocation of HOAC; David Higgins letter Dec 2014  Resources David Higgins letter Dec 2014 (pdf) December 12, 2014  D Higgins letter Dec2014 (pdf) December 11, 2014 Nick Hurd MP 11 December

Call to protect HS2 farmers from capital gains tax​

placade sign An overhaul of capital gains tax is urgently needed to prevent farmers on the HS2 route facing additional stress and pressure on their livelihoods, says the CLA and group of high-profile MPs. Under current legislation, landowners cannot invest compulsory purchase compensation in their existing holding without facing a capital gains tax (CGT) bill. This means that if a farmer wanted to replace a demolished building by rebuilding it on their remaining land, or by investing in their own land to…
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