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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

HS2: Labour’s Ed Balls accused of ‘slap in face for Manchester’ over high-speed link​

manchester town hall ED Balls has been accused of ‘slapping the north in the face’ – after suggesting the Manchester leg of HS2 might not go ahead. The shadow chancellor appeared to go off-message when he told a group of journalists there were ‘big questions’ about the second phase of the high-speed line which is due to link Manchester with Birmingham and London by 2032. He also said it would make more sense to simply build an east-west line across the north first. David Cameron…

HS2 campaigners propose new Chilterns tunnel plan​

HS1 silver train_19 Plans for an HS2 tunnel under the Chilterns to protect the area have been announced by campaigners opposing existing proposals for the high-speed rail link. The proposal from Buckinghamshire councils includes a 15-mile (24km) tunnel from the M25 to Wendover. Current government plans include some tunnels but leaves about eight miles in exposed or partially-covered cuttings. HS2 said it had "considered" further tunnelling but stood by its plans. Plans for the HS2 between London and Birmingham and then to Manchester…

HS2 – campaigners launch their new case for a Chilterns Long Tunnel to preserve the AONB​

hs2 tunnel and sidings_1   A new study launched today (Thursday 26 March) proves the viability of a 24.2km tunnel, which would preserve the protected Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The study, produced by Peter Brett Associates, has been commissioned by Chiltern District Council, together with Aylesbury Vale District Council, Buckinghamshire County Council and the Chilterns Conservation Board. The purpose of the new report was to devise an alignment which: • Was designed as a bored tunnel from first principles rather than a…

Labour and HS2​

tracks It may be about high speed but Labour's position on HS2 moves slowly. Since the 2013 Party Conference, the Party has adopted a 'no blank cheque' stance. We now learn Labour could dramatically scale back plans for HS2. The focus is now on Phase 2 with Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls planning to ask “big questions” about whether the second leg of HS2 – linking Birmingham with Manchester and Leeds – made any sense. A Labour government would press ahead with Phase…

Labour question whether Birmingham-Manchester HS2 route makes any sense, and plan North East link​

Labour Annual Conference 2013 Labour could dramatically scale back plans for HS2 – but build a new line linking Manchester with the north east. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said Labour would ask “big questions” about whether the second leg of HS2 – linking Birmingham with Manchester and Leeds – made any sense. Labour had previously backed proposals for the government’s controversial HS2 project, which could cost more than £50 billion, even though Mr Balls was known to have doubts about it. He was speaking after…

Campaigners to launch new case for HS2 alternative​

train out of tunnel 2 Campaigners are due to launch a new case for an underground rail line as an alternative to the High Speed Two link through the Chilterns. Several villages in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire are in the path of the proposed route. Several councils, including Chiltern District, have commissioned a new report into a better and viable alternative. ITV News 26 March

Responding to the Economic Affairs Committee report​

hs2 rail tracks_3 In the aftermath of the publication of the Economic Affairs committee report and Westminster Hall debate, supporters have come out rallying to the cause. Cheshire East Council has defended the economic case for the North West for building HS2. Commenting on the Lords' Economic Committee report, Cheshire East Council's Executive Director of Economic Development and Growth, Caroline Simpson said: "HS2 is a game changer for the country. "It is about the long–term future of the economic prosperity of the UK…

The cost of HS2 reaches for the sky​

clouds With the current Parliament coming to an end MPs gathered in Westminster Hall to debate HS2. The event was timely as the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee had published its report into the project that morning. After more than three years since formal approval one would hope that the Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd would have answered all the questions hanging over the scheme…sadly no. None of the fundamental issues have been resolved, not least the lack of…

Lords Committee:”This report totally vindicates everything we have said from the outset” Martin Tett, chairman 51m​

hs2 martin tett 1 In a damning report released today (Wed 25 March), the House of Lords Economic Affairs Select Committee states categorically the Department for Transport has not made a convincing case for HS2. It goes further, saying a complete review of the scheme should be undertaken by any incoming government at the earliest opportunity and legislation to allow the first phase of the scheme to start should not be given until important questions raised in the report are satisfactorily answered. Martin Tett,…
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