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Poll: Is it time for HS2 to be scrapped?​

hs2 lichfield viaduct 2 With the news that the cost of HS2 could spiral to at least £80 billion, we are asking Star readers if it is time to scrap the controversial rail project. The new figure – double the current estimated cost of the controversial high speed train line – was revealed in a report by the Institute for Economic Affairs published today. Campaigners immediately spoke of their shock and backed the IEA’s calls for the scheme to be scrapped. They say the…

HS2 and the new North-South divide​

quainton HS2 - the proposed high speed rail link from London - is supposed to help bridge the North-South divide. But the debate surrounding the controversial project has arguably opened up a divide between councils in the North, who welcome the scheme, and those further south which do not. Set in a peaceful valley, surrounded by tranquil farmland, the hamlet of Lower Thorpe Mandeville, in rural Northamptonshire, has stood almost undisturbed for centuries. Yet residents are rapidly moving out, victims of…

Labour must scrap HS2 to avoid a rail disaster​

line with fence Writing in the Times today, Damian McBride, highlights the difficulty facing the Labour Party with respect to HS2. The Party’s “no blank cheque” positon has little meaning as even with Sir David Higgins at the helm, there is no sign that any kind of financial control is being applied to the runaway project. As John Redwood pointed out last week, HS2 Ltd is a company that having spent £400m of taxpayers’ money has a balance sheet showing no net assets.…

More Compensation For People Living Near HS2​

canal If you live within 300 metres of where HS2 will pass through Buckinghamshire, there's another chance to claim compensation. Two schemes will mean you can either claim on the value of your home or get up to £22,500, depending where you live. You've got until the end of September to apply to the government for the cash. Chesham and Amersham MP, Cheryl Gillan, said: "I would encourage all those living near to the route of HS2 to respond to this…

Cheshire: Culcheth and Croft residents set for 12 months of HS2 blight​

hs2 lichfield viaduct_1 THE delay in announcing the final HS2 route has added ‘twelve months of blight’ to residents in Culcheth and Croft, claimed parish councillor Mike Vobe. Members of Culcheth and Glazebury Parish Council quizzed senior representatives from HS2 Ltd in a meeting at Glazebury Methodist Church on the latest developments in the proposed HS2 scheme. At the meeting, parish councillor Peter Caswell called for more information on HS2’s Exceptional Hardship Scheme and pushed for advice surgeries to be launched. Clr Vobe…

Environmental Audit Select Committee: Deadline for evidence 15 August​

ancient woodland The Committee has extended the time for accepting written submissions on its Environmental Scorecard inquiry: to 15 August 2014 The Committee is examining progress on key environmental areas, and potential policy levers which could be used to secure environmental improvements.  Environmental scorecard Enivronmental Audit Committee Full terms of reference The National Audit Office (NAO) published a review of Environmental Protection in July 2010, which examined 10 key environmental protection areas. On 16 June 2014 the NAO published a follow up review assessing progress…

John Redwood: HS2 – Where has all the money gone?​

John Redwood In the two years to March 2014 HS2 Ltd has spent  £384,000,000 of grant aid from taxpayers. What is remarkable is that after such a high spend the balance sheet of the company doing all that spending shows zero net assets. The best part of £400 million has gone and the company has  nothing to show for it of more permanent value that gives us some net assets on its balance sheet. Some will leap to its defence and say…

Cheryl Gillian says campaign continues despite HS2 result​

cheryl latest Campaign group HS2 Action Alliance have said they will appeal after losing their latest legal challenge against the Government over the high speed rail line. In June, the council and HS2AA brought a fresh judicial review challenge to the High Court, challenging the decision by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin to issue safeguarding directions without first undertaking a Strategic Environmental Assessment. Safeguarding is designed to protect land which has been earmarked for major infrastructure, in this case HS2, from conflicting developments…

Economic impact of HS2 on Chiltern District​

line with fence Chiltern District Council has commissioned a report to assess the range and extent of the socio-economic impacts that construction and operation of HS2 is likely to have on the Chiltern District area. The report, prepared by Peter Brett Associates,  details the travel delay and road maintenance costs over an eight-year construction period;  amenity loss , health and wellbeing impact, productivity loss and visitor spending loss over 60 years. The 58-page report can be seen here CDC Economic Report July 2014.

HS2 Ltd buys new homes for Camden residents facing house demolition​

Camden Market Half of all Camden residents who have houses earmarked for demolition as part of the construction of the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link have been found new homes - allaying fears they would have to leave the borough. A £45.7m deal between HS2 Ltd and Camden Council will see a newly built council-owned development of 70 flats in Netley Street, Euston, bought up by the government’s HS2 company. The council was going to sell the flats to the private…
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