The Telegraph: How HS2 will tear up rural England
Official documents also disclose that hundreds of acres of green-belt land will be lost and more than 1,000 buildings are to be demolished.
Conservationists and other campaigners reacted angrily to the figures, which were buried in a mass of documents published without fanfare by the Department for Transport.
The Labour cabinet adopted it as a “national cause”, and whatever the political calculation behind the decision, the transport secretary and rail enthusiast, Andrew Adonis, embraced it fervently and sincerely. He had breakfast one day with a few people he identified as sympathetic, to ask how the project might be presented to the public. One of us suggested it was important to stress it would be a “people’s train”, with low prices, not just for the business classes. Another of us, possibly me, thought it would be a good idea to start digging in the north rather than the south, so that its economic effect was felt there first.
The business case for HS2 is falling apart, and with it the political consensus. Vince Cable has today become the latest one to say that the case is not made. Wednesday’s Newsnight put together transport experts who suggested that the taxpayer would get 50p or 60p of benefit for every £1 spent. (HS2 started by claiming £2.60 back for every £1 spent. The Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, has said that £1.50 would be his breaking point). I do not know of a single minister who thinks HS2 is a good idea and many agree with Nigel Lawson that it is “madness”. A few of them have started to joke about how David Cameron and (to a greater extent than you’d think) George Osborne are in denial about the implosion of their grand project.
The Telegraph: Vince Cable: Case for HS2 still being made
Vince Cable has become the first senior Coalition figure to question the economic benefits of the High Speed Rail 2 train line, warning “the case is still being made”.
The Business Secretary’s comments are the first indication of jitters about the projected cost of the link between London, the Midlands and the North.
Earlier this month transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin warned that the cost had climbed by £10billion to £43billion.
The all-party consensus in favour of the proposed high-speed rail link from London to the North is under strain amid growing Labour and Liberal Democrat concern about the £50bn project.
Although Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg remain strongly committed to HS2, senior figures in their parties have begun to air their private doubts in public. This has worried Conservative ministers, who are keen to maintain cross-party backing for the scheme.
Kenilworth Weekly News: Future still uncertain despite HS2 ‘blight notices’
Blighted homeowners in the path of HS2 can now call for a government buyout under statutory powers.
But the future is still far from certain for around 40 families who qualify to serve the government with a notice requesting sale of their home.
Barnsley Chronicle: HS2 ‘tunnels’ will now be overground
Two train lines thought to form tunnels as part of the high speed rail link through Barnsley will now go overground, it has been revealed.
…The route near his home at Hoyland was originally thought to be planned as twin tunnels 8-metre beneath the surface.He was told in a letter from HS2 Ltd official William Shockley that the superfast train line will be 30-metres away from his property – about the length of a cricket pitch.