Some Recent News Items

Ham&High: Camden Council demands government waives HS2 petition fee

Camden Council demands government waives HS2 petition feeHam&HighWith many directly affected by the mammoth HS2 construction project living in social housing, the council said the government should not expect those affected to fork out £20 just to have their voices heard. Council lawyer Louise Mclaughlan said the …

Mirror: HS2 will wipe out all barn owls living nearby, reveals rail project company –

HS2 will wipe out all barn owls living nearby, reveals rail project owls living close to HS2 will be doomed if the line is built, the project company has admitted. All breeding populations within just under a mile of the track will be wiped out, HS2 Ltd reveals in its hybrid bill. The information – buried in a

Camden New Journal: Former Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC: ‘HS2 breaks European human rights convention’

THE government’s plans to build the High Speed Two (HS2) rail link between Euston and Birmingham have breached the European Convention on Human Rights, according to the former Director of Public Prosecutions.

Express & Star: ‘Don’t vote for parties that back HS2′ urge campaigners

The ‘No Votes For You with HS2’ campaign is appealing to all those affected by the high speed rail link across the country to refuse votes to parties in support of HS2.

Mirror: Ministers accused of ‘cover-up’ by burying report claiming £50billion HS2 project could fail

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has urged David Cameron to use emergency powers to prevent the public from reading the critical document

Telegraph: Caution needed over Chinese HS2 investment

Lord Adonis revealed yesterday that during a visit to China in 2009 officials had expressed a similar interest in helping to build HS2, but that he had declined to make any agreement.

He told the Telegraph: “I am sure the Chinese are serious about wanting to play a part in HS2, they are very keen to take a lead in high speed rail technology globally, but I think Britain needs to treat this very cautiously given their safety record.”

New Scientist: Mega delusional: The curse of the megaproject

Worse still, what we often have is an inverted Darwinism: the survival of the unfittest. It is not the best projects that get chosen, but those that look best on paper. And these are the ones with the largest cost underestimates and benefit overestimates. They are disasters waiting to happen.

It has become increasingly clear that when megaprojects go wrong they are like the bull in the china shop: they can damage national economies. It has become similarly clear to many involved that something needs to be done.

LibDem Voice: Opinion: The Opportunity Costs of HS2

Today’s publication (pdf) by the Liberal think tank Centre Forum, “Build the infrastructure: bin the wish list”, ought to make every Liberal Democrat stop and think again about the wisdom of spending £50 billion on HS2.

Camden New Journal: HS2: Now Hampstead is told to brace itself for ‘major adverse effect’ from hundreds of lorry trips a day

…The HS2 report adds that smog and noise from lorries on Haverstock Hill – a permanent route for lorries during a decade of work – will have a “major adverse effect” on Labour leader Ed Miliband’s former school, Haverstock….

Thame Gazette: Lidington furious at yet another blunder by HS2 Ltd

David Lidington says he is struggling to control his temper after HS2 made another blunder in letters to worried Walton Court residents….

“There is no excuse and they deserve every bit of flak that is flung at them.”

Huffington Post: John Bercow Slams ‘Seemingly Arbitrary’ HS2 Compensation

The Speaker expressed concern about his “understandably anxious” Buckingham constituents being left out of potential compensation for being “blighted” by HS2 due to the boundary of the safeguarding zone, marking out those eligible for compensation, ending at the front of their properties.

Warwickshire: High speed rail legislation arrives by the lorry load

Weighing in at a hefty 1.5 tonnes, the 55,000 page HS2 hybrid bill has been despatched in a mountain of boxes at Leamington Library.

The bulky tome is the document submitted to Parliament which will provide the legislation for the High Speed 2 rail line to be built. The full bill is being housed in the library for members of the public to inspect during the Parliamentary process – other county libraries will be holding electronic copies.

James Elles: HS2 bill goes before Parliament: lemmings head for the cliff

…The Conservative Party has applied a common-sense approach to other forms of public spending. Meticulous time is spent on discovering how desirable a project may be, always with balancing the books in mind to eliminate increasing public debt. With reference to the arguments above it looks as if HS2 is fast becoming an exception to this. If failing to support HS2 is ‘playing politics with our prosperity’ (see The Spectator 2nd November 2013), then the Government could find itself in danger of losing its reputation of a sensible prudent nature. And not only that. The growing opposition to this project as currently designed will find its way into the political debate as local and European elections loom in 2014, before the General Election in 2015. Do not be surprised to see the emergence of a movement of peaceful protest spreading in the months ahead.

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