Some recent news items

Telegraph: Three more councils come out against HS2

Ministers hopes of winning unanimous support from the north for High speed rail have suffered a fresh blow as three more councils have come out against the Government’s flagship project.

Not only have two influential northern municipal leaders voiced opposition to the project but Staffordshire Borough Council, has thrown its weight behind the 51m group of local authorities which is challenging the scheme.

BBC:Stratagems and spoils

And there’s another flashpoint.

It’s almost impossible to understate the sheer fury being generated by HS2 – the proposal for a y-shaped high speed railway linking London, Birmingham and then Sheffield and Manchester.

Inside Housing: Money well spent?

Last year 380,300 households had their names on housing waiting lists in Greater London. The figure for the west midlands was 180,000 (where those needing large homes face a 99-year wait). In Greater Manchester this number was 100,000 and in Leeds 24,000 – a total of 684,300…

All the evidence confirms their number has risen this year, and it will be of little consolation to them that the government plans to join up their four areas in a Y-shaped High Speed 2 train line that would cost a large fortune, carve large slices out of the English countryside and serve only to cut a few minutes off the journey times of businessmen and women travelling between London, the north and the midlands.

Express and Star: HS2 will slash train services in Black Country and Staffs, warns boss

High-speed rail will drastically reduce the number of train services through the Black Country and Staffordshire, the boss of Virgin Trains has warned.

Services through the region along the West Coast Main Line would halve if the HS2 scheme goes ahead, believes Tony Collins, chief executive of Sir Richard Branson’s company.

The Sentinel: Staffordshire council chief voices doubts over HS2 project (map)

THE leader of Staffordshire County Council says the Government’s planned high speed rail network line will have no economic benefits for the region – as the scheme came under fire from a national spending watchdog.

Knutsford Guardian: Town’s residents turn to Clr Michael Jones in fight against HS2 in Tatton

KNUTSFORD residents have called on the leader of Cheshire East Council to stand up for them in their fight against the high speed train line that is planned to cut through the Tatton constituency.

More than 200 residents attended a public meeting at Cottons Hotel on Monday to protest about plans for the High Speed Two (HS2) route in Knutsford with the leader of CEC, Clr Michael Jones, vowing to get the ‘best deal’ possible for the people of Cheshire East.

Birmingham Post: Homeowners blighted by HS2 could face 12-year wait for compensation

Homeowners in the Midlands blighted by the proposed HS2 high speed rail line could face a compensation wait of up to 12 YEARS.

Specialist solicitor Alastair Frew said those affected by the proposed rail route and living outside the London to Birmingham route corridor could face the huge delays.

The Spectator: The ludicrous 20-year timescale for HS2 is reason enough to abandon the whole thing

If I stand on the forecourt of Euston station tomorrow morning, I will be able to get to Manchester by high-speed train in 20 years, one hour and eight minutes. That’s only 19 years, 364 days and 23¾ hours longer than it took me last month….We know this, because, of course, we can forecast the weather 20 years in advance. Well at least we should be able to do this, since economic forecasters can clearly predict the demand for travel 20 years ahead. This same infallible skill also tells us that the economic effects of HS2 will spread wealth from London to the north — rather than in the other direction. Because, we know, don’t we?

We know nothing of the kind. Which is why the ludicrous 20-year timescale for HS2 should cause us to abandon the whole thing. Not only out of shame (Brunel built a railway to Bristol in five years, when the principal tunnelling technology was a navvy with a pick) but for another reason too.

And another:
Guardian: Simon Hoggart’s week: when a pub lunch becomes a flag day

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