Some recent news items

ITV Meridian: HS2 staff ‘earn more than the PM’

Two staff at the company created to develop the High Speed 2 rail link earn more than the Prime Minister, Parliamentary papers have revealed.

HS2 Ltd employ 206 staff, Transport Minister Simon Burns said, one of whom earns more than £160,000 and another who earns more than £170,000.

Leamington Courier: Stop HS2 group gets in on the act during train station event

Campaigners against HS2 made their feelings clear to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin when he visited Kenilworth…

Joe Rukin, of Stop HS2, said: “It was great to see so many people turn up at short notice and that Mr McLoughlin came across with the plans for Kenilworth station because the case for it is compelling but it’s sad that he did not really want to listen to anything we had to say about HS2.

Independent: Mark Leftly: High Speed 2 is being too slow to argue its case

…What has been remarkable is how well organised the campaigners have become.

While the team behind HS2 struggles to communicate how much this extra rail capacity is needed, the campaigners will be hosting at least 600 protesters in Staffordshire this month training them in how to see off the plans.

NB: Find out more about the convention on our website here.

Uxbridge Gazette: MP Nick Hurd called to nail HS2 ‘colours to the mast’

MP NICK Hurd says he is focused on getting the best deal for Ickenham should HS2 get built, as calls come for him to nail his colours to the mast.

Ickenham Residents’ Association, which has been spurred on by the confirmation in HS2 Ltd’s recently published draft environmental impact statement that theirs will be the hardest hit community in the borough, has called on the Tory Ruislip-Northwood MP to formally oppose the project.

Vice: London’s New High-Speed Rail Line Is Going to Screw Over the Poor

HS2 is the £34 billion high-speed rail route that’s intending to bring the north closer to the south. For what precise purpose is not altogether clear, since southerners haven’t shown much inclination, thus far, to spread jobs, wealth and very expensive homes anywhere north of Watford. It was initially proposed that HS2 would run through Primrose Hill. But being Primrose Hill – an area that got up in arms when the council proposed putting, God forbid, wheelie bins outside houses – it’s monied residents got together and hired lawyers, and now it’s the settled, stable – but far less affluent – areas of north London that will see their communities carved up.

Camden New Journal: HS2 environmental report admits that demolition of children’s playground facility would result in a ‘major adverse effect on the community’

A CHILDREN’S playground and grassy open space has been dragged into HS2 demolition proposals.

The land between Eskdale, in the Regent’s Park Estate, will be needed as a construction site for at least 10 years, according to HS2 Ltd’s Draft Environmental Statement.

Evening Standard: Camden fights to save 477 homes from HS2 bulldozers

HS2 will cause a “decade of disruption” in Camden, it was claimed today as the borough renewed its legal challenge to the Government’s plans for the high-speed rail link.

Camden claims that 477 homes will be bulldozed and businesses in Camden Town will suffer as the 10-year project to build the London stretch of the link from the north of England to Euston begins in 2016.

Camden council leader Sarah Hayward accused Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin of failing to properly assess the line’s impact in the borough where 80 per cent of all homes to be demolished along the HS2 route are situated.

BBC: Is HS2 value for money compared to other London transport schemes?

The government says the BCR for HS2 is 1.4 : 1 for the scheme to Birmingham.

So, if the government invests £1 in the scheme, there will be a “benefit” of £1.40….

The figures for London’s projects are more impressive (the figures don’t include the wider economic benefits).

Buckinghamshire Advertiser: Chilterns Conservation Board slams HS2 Environmental Statement

The Chilterns Conservation Board says the draft environment statement published by HS2 Ltd earlier this month, shows the full impact that the line will have on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The report shows that in the Chilterns there will be more than 20 acres of ancient woodland destroyed, as well as more than 100 acres of farmland and several miles of hedgerows. There will also be the noise of 36 trains travelling at up to 250mph every day.

Chairman of the Chilterns Conservation Board, Mike Fox, said: “Over four miles of the railway in the Chilterns will be in the open, much of it on ugly viaducts, nothing like the grand and elegant structures our Victorian forefathers built.

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