Wednesday, 22 January 2014

HS2 news

I am a cautious supporter of HS2, the proposed rail ling between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. There is an apparent capacity problem, and HS2 seems to me a reasonable method of fixing that problem.

Therefore I thought I'd produce occasional blogs about HS2 news, along with my comments on them:

1) A phase 1 legal challenge has been lost. A legal challenge to phase 1 of the HS2 project (the stretch of line between London and Birmingham) has been lost today. It has been judged that the impact on the environment was properly considered, and it is unlikely the complainants will be allowed to appeal further.

2) HS2 sent 15,000 letters to households before Christmas, incorrectly stating that their property was to be compulsory purchased. This follows a previous letter where the length of works was massively overstated. Needless to say, it is impossible to defend such mistakes.

3) The consultation for phase one was has been extended by two weeks after 877 pages were left off USB sticks containing the environmental impact assessment. Although they were not on the USB sticks, the pages were available online. This mistake makes an already tight timescale for phase one even tighter. The consultation now closes on the 10th of February. In slight defence, the documents are over 50,000 pages in length, and collating them must have been a nightmare. On the other hand, HS2 will be a complex project, and it would be hoped that they could cope with simple documentation handling.

So one story positive for the project, and two negative.

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