What is the point of HS2?

Mohammed Salique owns a Restaurant called Diwana in Drummond Street, which runs west from the side of Euston station. Diwana, which opened in 1970, claims that it was the first restaurant in Britain to serve South Indian vegetarian food. It wasn’t the first Asian food outlet in the street: Ambala, now a chain of shops selling Indian sweets, opened in 1965, catering to the immigrants from India and Bangladesh (then ...

Rail 745: Higgins changes direction – ever so slightly

March 26th, 2014 Rail Magazine no comments
It was expected that Sir David Higgins, who has moved from Network Rail to the chairmanship of HS2 Ltd would soon begin to seek radical changes. However, his HS2 Plus (is that a new medicine quipped the fellow next to me at the press conference) demonstrates the constraints he is under because of decisions made by his predecessors. His rather thin report is certainly radical in intent but as Higgins pointed ...

What is a hybrid bill?

March 10th, 2014 The Oldie 2 comments
A hybrid bill is a Parliamentary procedure to pass legislation that affects both private and public matters. In other words, there is both a widespread public, possibly national, interest but also a specific effect on particular individuals and organisations who may be adversely affected. The HS2 Bill is therefore the mechanism by which the Government will obtain planning permission for the controversial near-200km line between London and Birmingham. Steering a hybrid ...

Rail 740: HS2 is the wrong scheme in wrong place

February 12th, 2014 Rail Magazine 17 comments
This will be a make or break year for HS2. If there is good progress in  the committee stage of the Bill and no unpleasant surprises for its promoters, the odds will be stacked in favour of the scheme. If, on the other hand, there are further mishaps like the despatch of tens of thousands of letters to householders warning mistakenly that their homes will have to be compulsorily purchased ...

Rail 735: HS2 – the fundamental questions

November 28th, 2013 Rail Magazine 9 comments
Christian Wolmar   The optimists who thought that publication of the – euh fifth iteration – of the business case for HS2 would settle the matter one way or another will have been deeply disappointed. Far from the thorough reconsideration of the pros and cons of the case for the line, the report tinkers around the edges of the previous efforts and  is not the radical departure from the previous methodology that ...

Sides becoming more entrenched over HS2

October 14th, 2013 Surveyor 5 comments
The only strange aspect of the growing controversy over HS2 is that it has taken so long to come to the boil. The scheme is suffering from the way it was conceived. In reality the debate that is happening now should have taken place four years ago when Lord Adonis commissioned HS2 Ltd to produce a report into the idea. That was the key error. It looked as if the ...

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