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It’s looking bad for HS2. Why not build HS3 instead?​

18 September, 2106

hs2 rail tracks_7 What’s happening with HS2? The high-speed rail project has now lost its chief executive, Simon Kirby, headhunted by Rolls-Royce at an unspecified multiple of his £750,000 HS2 salary. Rumour-mongers say the true final cost of the project is now closer to £80 billion than the official figure of £55 billion, and that chairman Sir David Higgins may not renew his contract next year. Today’s Sunday Timesreveals some £35 million a month has been spent already, buying up houses in places where the line…

Councils deny knowing about changes to HS2 route​

16 September, 2016

hs2-aa27a9-224x120[1]_1_26   SOUTH Yorkshire councils this week insisted they were not given clear details of a new controversial high-speed rail route ahead of a public announcement. While officials conceded they were briefed ten days before the big reveal that the link would be diverted away from Meadowhall, they maintained that HS2 Ltd did not unveil the precise locations to be affected. After the plans became public on July 7, they sparked outcry among residents in Bramley, Aston and the Dearne Valley,…

Doncaster Council unanimously pass motion opposing HS2 route through borough​

16 September, 2016

TRANSPORT Trains 100471 All of Doncaster's 48 councillors voted through a motion that opposes the proposed new HS2 route through the borough, which could lead the demolition of hundreds of homes, at a meeting held last night. Put forward by Doncaster's directly elected mayor, Ros Jones, and seconded by Mexborough councillor Andy Pickering, the motion that went before full council last night stated: "This council objects to the new proposals for HS2 in the Sheffield City Region. "The new proposals put forward by…

Councils deny knowing about changes to HS2 route​

16 September, 2016

train bridge 2 South Yorkshire councils this week insisted they were not given clear details of a new controversial high-speed rail route ahead of a public announcement. While officials conceded they were briefed ten days before the big reveal that the link would be diverted away from Meadowhall, they maintained that HS2 Ltd did not unveil the precise locations to be affected. After the plans became public on July 7, they sparked outcry among residents in Bramley, Aston and the Dearne Valley, which…

George Osborne launches Northern Powerhouse thinktank​

16 September, 2016

george-osborne-new George Osborne will today launch a Northern Powerhouse thinktank with Theresa May's support just months. The former Chancellor said the project will be his "major focus" as the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said the thinktank will form an "important part" of the devolution debate. Mr Osborne was sacked as Chancellor by Mrs May following the Brexit vote, amid reports that the two senior politicians do not see eye to eye. The Northern Powerhouse Partnership will seek to hold the Government…

Government urged to deliver fairer interest on compulsory purchase late payments​

16 September, 2016

CherylGillan 4 A Buckinghamshire MP has pressed the government to fulfill its promise to deliver a "fairer" compulsory purchase system. During Business Questions in the House of Commons on 15 September, Cheryl Gillan MP highlighted the urgent need for a fairer rate of interest on late payment of compulsory purchase compensation. A new penal interest rate of 8% above base rate for late payments – in line with standard government practice – was proposed earlier this year by the Department for Communities…

HS2 – fundamental questions remain​

16 September, 2016

In times gone by the Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd faced sessions with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) with great trepidation. The MPs concerned were not easily impressed by the grand visions laid out before them. With Margaret Hodge’s role as Chair now taken by Meg Hillier it was possible to detect a spring in the step when senior representatives from the DfT and HS2 Ltd attended the most recent session. The report that followed may be more measured…

HS2 opening faces delay as ‘overly ambitious’ timetable slammed by MPs​

15 September, 2016

parliament exterior 5 MPS have slammed the ‘overly ambitious’ HS2 timetable, which faces a delayed opening date of up to a year. A report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), released on Thursday (September 14), states that MPs are ‘not convinced’ the timetable for delivering HS2 is realistic. The committee also raises concern over spiralling costs of phase 2, which links the West Midlands and Crewe to Manchester and Leeds. The report summary reads: “We are concerned that the Department of Transport’s timetable…

HS2 delays and resignation increase fears of East-West divide​

13 Sepember 2016

The Government must prove its commitment to HS2 by finally announcing its plan for the eastern half of the proposed rail link, campaigners for the project have said, after suggestions it could scaled back because of costs. The sudden resignation of the £56bn scheme’s chief executive, Simon Kirby, has deepened concerns that delays and rumours of internal government arguments over the budget mean the route from Birmingham to Leeds and Sheffield is vulnerable. Mr Kirby, the country’s highest-paid civil servant…

Tom Richmond: Time to steer HS2 into the sidings and change track​

13 Sepember 2016

tracks 4 BREXIT aside, the supposedly ultra-cautious Theresa May has already risked the wrath of the Chinese by putting the proposed Hinkley Point nuclear power station on hold while the impasse over Heathrow Airport’s third runway is now likely to be resolved by a free vote of MPs. In my opinion, the Prime Minister should go even further and now put the brakes on HS2, Britain’s high-speed rail revolution, and this advice comes from a columnist who was originally in favour of…
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