Tony Blair’s former head of spin has been appointed by HS2 to sway public opinion towards the project. Mr Kelly, currently the director of corporate communications at Network Rail, was the former Prime Minister’s spokesman between 2001 and 2007, at the time of of the invasion of Iraq.
Millions of passengers on the West Coast mainline face a decade of ‘catastrophic’ disruption caused by work on the £50billion HS2 high-speed project, a damning dossier of official papers reveals today.
Train bosses also warn of delays and train shortages on the link between London, the North and Scotland and chronic passenger overcrowding on platforms at London Euston, one of Britain’s busiest stations.
Up to four out of 10 trains risk running late between 2016 and 2026 as preparation and construction work is carried out on the southern terminus of the proposed high-speed project.
In this week’s Spectator magazine, James Forsyth interviews the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. McLoughlin admits that the government is unlikely legislation to get the HS2 Bill through Parliament before the next election — which could leave a major threat over the project in 2015.
MP accused of ‘sitting on the fence’ comes out with a dissection of the HS2 impact on his constituency
Huffington Post: 7 Hugely Awkward Reports David Cameron Does Not Want You To See
Camden Council has accused the state-owned company spearheading the High Speed 2 rail link of “hanging Camden out to dry” as the battle over the future of Euston station gathers pace.
The criticism came as the town hall branded HS2 Ltd’s assessment of the impact of the £50billion project on the borough as “superficial”.
The Warehouse: Can BCC Stop HS2 From Choking off Digbeth?
I showed 40 architecture students around Digbeth on Monday and was surprised to find that they had never heard of Birmingham’s concrete collar. This either shows my age or how quickly we forget things from our collective memory. I explained that it was the nickname for the old inner ring road; how its size and location were a physical and psychological barrier to people who wanted to come to Digbeth; and how its impact on Birmingham’s development was so great that it was removed in 2002. 12 years later, it feels like we are about to commit the same mistake with the High Speed Two station.
…That report has not gone to any committee or the Executive. Affected residents were not informed of its existence by any Councillor or Council Officer, despite their Tenants and Residents Association asking for over 2 years now how they would be affected by HS2 and Brent Council being unable or unwilling to provide them with answers. Residents received recorded letters from HS2 last year saying it might want to acquire their property, and still Brent Council was unable to provide advice on what this might mean. And, of course, residents have not been consulted on their attitude to having the shaft moved next door. This in a situation where residents have made numerous complaints about the effect of living on a building site – being in the middle of regeneration with all the dirt and disruption involved.
Bucks Free Press: £27million bill for HS2 electricity diversion work
WORK to divert electricity lines to make way for HS2 in the Chilterns would last for a year and cost up to £27million, an MP said this week.
In what amounts to an abuse of democracy, lobbyists are being used to put the case for an absurd project few really want
PLYMOUTH Tory MP Gary Streeter says he will vote against Government plans for a high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham unless a proper plan is put in place for the Dawlish line.
Cross-party backing for HS2 has been thrown into doubt after Tory and Labour MPs from flood and storm ravaged constituencies said they would refuse to support the £42 billion rail line unless major improvements were made to the West Country railway network.
A new poll of members of the public by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that 62% of people believe the UK’s rail network is worse than those in the rest of Western Europe – with 58% of people saying the estimated £42.6 billion cost of the HS2 link would be better spent upgrading the existing rail network.
Yorkshire Post: How far will Osborne go on HS2?
…But if the Government is serious about speeding up HS2, it will have to be serious about speeding up the rate at which it spends the overall budget. This will mean finding significant extra sums each year from a public purse which is still a long way from healthy. In the long-term, of course, this should actually mean the project costs less. But that doesn’t make it any easier to sell to a Treasury which is desperately trying to balance the books today.
One of Birmingham’s key industrial sites is being left to rot indefinitely because of HS2.
Thousands of jobs in one of the city’s most deprived areas at the prime former LDV site in Washwood Heath have been ‘kiboshed’, the project manager told the Birmingham Post, in an exclusive interview.
Two years of demolition and clearance has been completed but it was supposed to be followed by inward investment and a jobs bonanza.
However, the regeneration scheme for the sprawling complex has been shunted into the sidings by the controversial – and still in doubt – £43 billion HS2 project, which is set to swallow up the whole site.
A COUNCIL has formally objected a plan to bring high-speed rail to the region days after it emerged it could lead to the loss of nearly 1,500 jobs.
NW Leicestershire Council: North West Leicestershire District Council formally objects to route of HS2 Phase 2
The Cabinet of North West Leicestershire District Council has agreed to formally object to the proposed route of High Speed Rail (HS2) Phase 2.
800 people stop traffic attending HS2 day in Whittington. Entitled “HS2 – How Will It Affect You”, Saturday’s exhibition included a 14ft image pieced together from HS2 Ltd’s maps showing how the phase one route ploughs through Staffordshire. There was also a map devoted to predicted noise and vibration, and …