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Photographer shows graphic impact HS2 will have on Buckinghamshire countryside​

laser A photographer has created a ‘ground-breaking’ exhibition whi-ch uses lasers to replicate the HS2 track proposals across the county. Mark King, of Rectory Way in Amersham, will show his work during the county’s visual arts event, Bucks Open Studios, and it will also be on the Amersham Art Trail. The lasers in the photography depict the HS2 route through the Chilterns. Mr King, who is from New Zealand, said: “I remain impartial in my views on HS2, I just wanted…

HS2 chairman – share my vision or else​

david higgins The Financial Times reported that the head of HS2 Ltd, Sir David Higgins, has threatned to walk away in 15 months' time if the government fails to back his vision. He made it clear that he would not sign a contract extension as chairman beyond 2015 unless his demands for funding and political support were met. Of course, this could be the act of a politically astute operator making sure the government's support for the project does not waiver. However,…

HS2 the axe proof train carries on down the line​

axe 1 The Chancellor of the Exchequer has told Whitehall departments that a fresh squeeze on government spending has begun. It is thought the departments most in the line of fire are the Home Office, Justice and Transport. Of course with respect to the latter, the most costly item in its infrastructure programme – HS2 will be left untouched. The real possibility exists, however, that other departmental projects will fair less well as the cuts bite Mr Osborne also announced he would…

Glasgow Chamber chief: Scottish cities must be vigilant about Northern Powerhouse plan​

train pic The chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce has warned that cities in Scotland must be vigilant about what their counterparts in England are gaining by way of devolution to avoid being disadvantaged. Stuart Patrick's comments follow the new Conservative Government's emphasis of its ambitions to create a "Northern Powerhouse" in England. Mr Patrick highlighted Greater Manchester's success in winning decision-making powers, in areas including transport and health spending, and in securing resources. He said: "We in Glasgow [and] all…

HS2 and the north-south divide​

british isles The problem is that 30 years of government attempts to narrow the North-South divide have been ineffective or counter-productive. The Independent on Sunday opposes the HS2 rail link because we believe that, far from bringing North and South closer together, it will increase the gravitational pull of the South-east economy. We have argued that the north of England needs better east-west transport links, and Mr Osborne has accepted that – although in addition to HS2, rather than instead of it. The policies most…

HS2 costs increasing due to skills shortage​

line laying Sir David Higgins, the chairman of HS2, has provided evidence to the Lords claim suggesting that the UK’s lack of experience in building new railway lines was contributing towards the high construction costs of HS2. The project is set to cost £90 million per kilometre, compared to the £23.3 million per kilometre cost of the HS1 link from the Channel Tunnel to London. Higgins explained that the construction industry in the UK is fragmented - suggesting that public and private…

Thousands to be spent on HS2 lobbying campaign​

money COUNCILS are to spend thousands of pounds promoting the benefits of the planned high speed rail line to Yorkshire despite the Government’s firm commitment to the project. Leeds City Council, North Yorkshire County Council and the Sheffield City Region group of authorities have already backed the lobbying effort. The HS2 East campaign currently has a £50,000 budget but supporting organisations are being asked to contribute £25,000 each to support its work. A report presented to the Sheffield City Region Combined…

Folly of a £50bn HS2 project must hit the buffers​

line with fence You might think that the biggest infrastructure project in modern Britain would have merited a few minutes discussion in an election campaign. Dream on. All three of the main parties decided that the planned HS2 high speed railway line from London to Birmingham, and then — if things go to plan — on to Manchester and Leeds by about 2033 was A Good Thing. Despite living in an age of austerity, they were as one in believing it a brilliant way to…

HS2 and Freedom of Information​

top secret HS2 Ltd is in the process of appointing a Freedom of Information Advisor. Given the project’s track record to date it is hard to accuse the company along with the Department for Transport of not having a sense of humour. It took an Appeal Court judge to obtain passenger numbers for Euston services and publication of the 2011 MPA report into HS2 is still being resisted. Defying the Information Commissioner and facing defeat at a legal tribunal, the Secretary of State…

Ex-Goldman Sachs man talks sense on HS2​

jim oneill Before Jim O’Neill’s appointment to the Treasury, he argued that the government focus should be on build a cutting-edge transport network between cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds The Goldman Sachs takeover of the UK financial establishment gathers pace. Jim O’Neill, the bank’s former chief economist, is to be made a peer and become the Treasury’s man for the northern powerhouse. He joins a Goldmanite group that only seems to grow in size. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank…
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