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Keeping HS2 costs on track looks like a juggling act​

9 February, 2016

money The Public Committee has always seen through the bluster surrounding HS2. In September, 2013 its report on the project observed – The programme’s large contingency appears to be compensating for weak cost information. The Department is 95% confident that it will stay within the £42.6 billion indicative budget it has agreed with HM Treasury for the full Y-network (excluding the £7.5 billion cost of trains). This figure includes £14.4 billion (a third of the total budget) for contingencies, although even this…

HS2 and the South West​

9 February, 2016

somerset-floods The recent Commons debate on the Great Western Railway routes highlighted the enormous disparity between infrastructure investment in the regions and HS2. The latest gross cost for HS2, including Barnett formula payments, is £61.3bn. This means that the contribution from taxpayers across the region’s 22 parliamentary constituencies will be just over £2bn. Even the most fervent supporters of HS2 will be hard pressed to say what the taxpayers of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset will get for their money. Indeed, it…

South West MPs urged to rebel over HS2 until region gets £7 billion investment​

9 February, 2016

train image 2 Tory MPs from the West should rebel over the HS2 high speed rail link unless David Cameron and George Osborne live up to their promises for investment in the region, a former minister has said. Labour's only MP in Devon and Cornwall, Ben Bradshaw, last night warned his neighbouring Tories that they could lose their seats if the Government does not deliver on promised funding for railways in the region. The Prime Minister and Chancellor made "grandiose" promises of £7…

Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into HS2​

8 February, 2016

nick hurd 2 From Nick Hurd MP- The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACA) are looking into complaints against HS2, in terms of engagement with the public and their consultation process. In November 2015, the PHSO published its Report of an investigation into a complaint about HS2 Ltd. The investigation looked at HS2 Ltd’s communication and engagement with a particular group of residents, including how it had handled complaints. It found that “overall HS2 Ltd’s actions fell below the reasonable standards we would expect, so…

Rising HS2 costs described as ‘exceptionally worrying’​

6 February, 2016

construction Construction estimates for the HS2 Phase Two train line have shot up by 39 per cent in a development that has been described as ‘exceptionally worrying’. The plans which propose to bring a train station to Leigh have been met with concerns. Those concerns will be heightened after a committee of MPs were told last Thursday of the significant Phase Two price jump. MP for Leigh Andy Burnham said: “This definitely adds to the concerns to see if this money…

Trust blasts HS2 for ‘disguising’ damage to woodland​

5 February, 2016

mantle's wood The Woodland Trust has slammed HS2 for ‘disguising the irrevocable loss and damage’ of green spaces such as Decoypond Wood and the nature reserve at Calvert Jubilee. It says 63 ancient woods along the first phase of the route will be affected by HS2. Giving evidence to the HS2 Select Committee on Wednesday, the trust accused HS2 of ‘making error after error, using flawed calculations, and using methods that go against government guidance’. And it implored rail chiefs to think…

HS2 agree to pay council £500k for road works​

4 February, 2016

hs2 train image HS2 Ltd have agreed to invest almost half a million pounds to in road safety work for south Bucks after months of negotiations with a campaign group. The A4010 campaign group, who work closely with Buckinghamshire County Council, won £480,000 from the company to pay for road safety measures at key sections of the route between High Wycombe and Stoke Mandeville, as well as the A4129 between Thame and Princes Risborough. The announcement follows the news that campaigners were successful…

HS2 headquarters opens amid cost dispute​

4 February, 2016

money The proposed HS2 high-speed railway line opened its new headquarters in Birmingham on Thursday amid a row with opponents over the rising cost of the £55.7bn project. The Stop HS2 campaign has revealed that costs for the second phase of the line, which will run from Birmingham to north-east and north-west England, had jumped by 39 per cent to £17.4bn, according to Freedom of Information requests. The findings will add to concerns over the escalating costs of the project. A House of Lords…

HS2 Phase 2 construction estimate jumps by 39%​

4 February, 2016

hs2 business graph The committee of MPs scrutinising legislation for HS2 will be told later today [Thursday 4th February 2016] that the projected estimate for constructing Phase 2 of the project has jumped by 39%, according to a response to a Freedom of Information request made by the Stop HS2 campaign. Last November, it was announced in the Autumn Statement that the overall cost of the project had increased from £50.1bn to £55.7bn, with Government officials claiming that the 11.2% increase in costs was purely…

Hybrid Bill Select Committee – 4 February​

4 February, 2016

select committee 2 Witnessess: Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP JP Boden & Co Limited Osbourne Investments Limited Quattro Holdings Limited Quattro (UK) Limited Thomas James and Eamon O'Loughlin Thomas James and Colin Marron Park Score Limited Thomas James Canal and River Trust The Inland Waterways Association British Overseas Bank Nominees Limited and W.G.T.C. Nominees Limited Friends Life Ltd and Axa Real Estate Investment Managers Ltd Zurich Assurance Ltd, Threadneedle Asset Management Limited and Threadneedle Property Investments Limited BBC Pension Trust Limited Stop HS2…
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