<<< 2017 news

HS2 - Local & National News

Compiled with the aid of Andrea Polden's daily HS2 News digest

For National HS2 news, visit the Stop HS2 News pages,
the Google HS2 news feed,
& the Stop HS2 "TV station" on YouTube

Local news ( from the Bucks Examiner ) here .. with luck


HS2 Bill receives Royal Assent

Well we tried...


20 MPs present for final approval of the bill

( )

Friends of the Earth join forces with Taxpayers Alliance

BBC surprised



HS2 in Yorkshire

Ed Milliband (who he ?) stages an adjournment debate ... "The right hon. Lady has a long track record of campaigning on this issue. Although she and I may differ on the principle around HS2—I support it—the point that she makes about its inconsistency of approach is deeply troubling." (to Cheryl Gillan)

And Wendover -

The Wendover society has completed an independent costing on a tunnel that they claim would save £146 million in comparison to HS2 Ltd’s proposed ‘Wendover Wall’.

and Camden -

Construction will increase air pollution;
Somers Town residents defeated in High Court

CH2M paid over £100m so far

" how much funding has been paid to CH2M by (a) his Department and (b) HS2 Ltd in each financial year since 2009." - written answer to Cheryl Gillan;
HS2 faces questions over hiring of its new chief executive - "The project recruited Mark Thurston to serve as its new chief executive last month, with Thurston joining from CH2M Hill - the engineering delivery partner for phase one of HS2."

A greener vision of HS2

from the Wildlife Trusts


£3m fund for the Colne Valley

How should they spend it ?
( HS2 currently spend £5m/week, on salaries & paperclips)


House of Lords - 3rd reading

Despite the best efforts of Lord Framlington and the Taxpayers Alliance, the bill was approved in the HoL and will now return to the Commons.

Chiltern Society

Latest local and national news.


Grand Committee stage in the Lords

Another box ticked, no real progress, not even a budget update (Stop HS2, HS2 and the environment ). HS2 continue to make up the business case. Their Lordships showed great sympathy for their colleagues, some of whom had spent months sitting on the committee stage - poor dears.

Perhaps we need some trains ?

There goes another £2.75bn

HS2 could damage wildlife !

Who'd have thought it... BBC Inside Out report on the Colne Valley, about 1 year too late to make any difference.

Amersham HS2 Newsletter

A New Year Update from HS2 Amersham


Government response to Lords Select Cttee

HMG issued a response to the House of Lords select committee, and a review of the environmental impact. Everything will be really lovely - if reasonably practical.The government naturally welcome the absence of calls for any meaningful additional mitigation in the report. The Woodland Trust had reservations, about the report & response.

Hillingdon Activity Centre

HOAC move to Denham reconsidered ?

Why not a hyperloop ?

Its faster & cheaper


1/8th of population of Birmingham to travel to London, every day ?

See HS2 passenger forecasts of 138000 passengers/day (phase 1). Population of Birmingham is around 1 million (Wikipedia)

HS2 (South) Community Update

"Here in your area, listening to you" - in case you havent noticed ...

Transport Questions

Total HS2 expenditure to 2016 - £1.45 billion. Its those greedy buggers in the Chilterns, who got £25m for extending the tunnel...


Chair of Treasury Committee questions economic case for HS2

Rt Hon. Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, writes to Rt Hon. Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, to ask for clarification on a number of issues outlined in the Department for Transport's updated economic case for HS2, published in November 2016. (The letter)

“In the last Parliament, the Treasury Committee examined the proposals for HS2. A lack of rigour in the economic case was manifest. On the basis of the evidence provided so far, many people remain to be convinced that the £55bn projected costs for HS2 offers better value for money than a lower speed, lower cost alternative.”(Politics Home)

Open Letter

... to Lord Adonis - Camden New Journal


Off Topic ?

Latest consultations -

  • Do we need a free press ?
  • Help protect the Lake District


South Heath Suffers

Pubs close, prices down & they haven't started yet

End of Year messages

Messages from

Cheryl Gillan, David Lidington

and a happy new year ( as possible, under the circumstances )
The Amersham Action Group


House of Lords Committee Reports -

( What do you think of the show so far ?) The report, and reactions from


HS2 buy Buckinghamshire

List of around 120 properties now owned by HS2 Ltd

Euston Hub May Not Be Viable (LBC)

"Our plans are based on serving up to 18,000 people per hour during peak times at Euston and improvements include a larger ticket hall and additional escalators, will be made to the Underground station to cope."
So thats alright then



Review of Hybrid Bill process

Rt Hon Cheryl Gillan MP launched a scathing attack on HS2’s substandard conduct and poor treatment of petitioners...


CPRE fight to the last man (?)

"HS2 needs to be seen as an opportunity to catalyse a more aesthetically demanding future, in which we strive to enhance our rural and urban landscapes, rather than detract from them."
(Yeah, right...)


Some AONBs are more equal than others ...

(Oral Answers, Communities & Local Government )

A355 relief road

Plans have been submitted for the A355 relief road - to divert traffic away from the London End bottleneck. Will it be completed before the HS2 construction traffic starts ? Maybe - HS2 is running late, & its all our fault.


RAIL chiefs wanted to snoop into the private lives of anyone who complained about the Government’s controversial HS2 project

"An extraordinary document was published by HS2 detailing how they would access and “process personal data” including details of individuals’ sexual orientation, trade union affiliation, criminal record as well as information about their physical and mental health. "

Strange, since they don't care a bit about what we think of their railway ...

What else could you get for £50 bn ?

Just a few ideas

7 to 15-Nov-2016

House of Lords Petitions

The Lords select committee went through the motions of hearing petitioners from the Chilterns, but since they had already decided against making any significant changes to the bill, this was a complete waste of time - unless of course you were paid to attend. See this page for a list of petitions, transcripts etc.


Bucks CC at the House of Lords

Latest news on the negotiations with HS2, press report, & the transcript, for the truely dedicated. Hillingdon Activity Centre future is still uncertain.


Whats happening in Fairford Leys ?

Hold on to your hedges, its HS2

Mind the Gap !


IPPR urges government to prioritise HS3 link

The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) said a high-speed rail link between major northern cities should take priority over the HS2 line between London and the Midland (BBC News)


Doncaster difficulties

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, is understood to have made her objections to the new HS2 route, which could see 200 homes in Mexborough demolished, known to a board meeting of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership. (51M)

Police had to be called to a Doncaster school last night after residents queuing to get into a public meeting to discuss the new HS2 route became embroiled in a violent brawl (Doncaster Free Press)

Ed Milliband objects again !

HS2 "Community Engagement" strikes again - 51M


Taxpayers Alliance - Scrap HS2

A new report from the TaxPayers' Alliance today calls on the government to scrap the wasteful HS2 project

Hinkley Point C deal delayed !

(Greg Clark) is to be commended for not being pushed into the go-ahead. Hinkley – along with Heathrow and HS2 – is one of three ‘Hs’ bequeathed by the Cameron-Osborne years: hugely expensive infrastructure projects seemingly frustrated by chronic indecision. (Spectator)

Hinkley Point delay is May’s latest break with the age of Osborne (Conservative Home)

Hinkley Point is just another vanity project - Theresa May should ditch it (politics)


Didn't Last, unfortunately ...


Independent HS2 Construction Commissioner appointed

"An independent commissioner has been appointed to help look into issues arising from the construction of HS2 which is on track to get underway next year." Just how independent ?

New anti-HS2 groups formed

in South Yorks, North Derbyshire


MPs denied Locus at House of Lords Select Committee

.. The committee decided that the language in their Standing Orders did not stretch to allowing MPs to petition.
See also, "HS2: The Very Select Committee"

Ed Milliband (Who ?) objects to route through Doncaster -

but the rest of you can get stuffed.

Brexit a Tidal Wave ( NAO )

NAO chief said it is not 'sustainable' to 'carry on as before' with schemes

Tim Mould - a nice little earner

 Since 2013 the Department for Transport has paid £679,567.10 to Tim Mould QC to support the HS2 project on Bill related matters.


New Cabinet Announced ( Guardian )

Chris Grayling - transport secretary no. 5; Hammond (no. 2) made Chancellor.HSUK call for a review of HS2, but Grayling tells BBC "I have no plans to back away from the HS2 project."

HS2 Budget problems

£400m gap in Euston Station funding, but £9bn turned up to keep phase 2 within budget; PAC examine NAO report - see 28-June below


The Queen received in audience the Right Honourable Theresa May MP

and requested her to form a new Administration


HS2 challenge locus of all MPs at Lords Select Committee

HS2 Ltd have attempted to prevent (7) MPs from making representations to the House of Lords because the company says this means they would be acting as Parliamentary agents, rather than as Parliamentarians. HS2 challenged their ‘locus standi’ or the ability to represent the views of constituents. (More)

Lords uphold the challenge - MPs barred

HS2 cost and scheduling pressures examined

The Public Accounts Committee discusses the pressures on HS2 Ltd to deliver the first phase of High Speed 2 on schedule without increasing costs, and the impact of possibly extending the first phase of work by up to 12 months.


Two candidates in final round of Conservative leadership election (BBC Guide, ITV News)

... and then there was one. (11-July)

HS2 rated Amber-Red, as usual (Stop HS2)

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority published it’s annual report yesterday, and it will come as no surprise that HS2 has been rated as ‘amber-red’ yet again.

Successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas.

HS2 - do we need a rethink?


Phase 2 Route changes in South Yorkshire (more)

A new housing estate could be bulldozed if changes to the planned high-speed rail route HS2 go ahead

HS2 - when less is more


Phase 2 Route changes in South Yorkshire

"Plans to locate Sheffield’s HS2 station in the city centre was today hailed as ‘fantastic news’ by city leaders" - shame its not on the HS2 line any more.


National Audit Office report on HS2

The project has an "unrealistic timetable" and faces major cost pressures .. The £56bn programme has too ambitious a schedule and rising costs could mean that not all its intended benefits are delivered, the NAO said. (BBC News)

Stop HS2 -

  • At the 2015 Spending Review, the estimated cost of phase 2 exceeded available funding by £7 billion.
  • A review commissioned by the Cabinet Office has identified potential savings of £9 billion, £2 billion of which have been secured.

HS2 Ltd -

"whilst many challenges remain, the project is on track both to deliver its strategic scope and to do so on budget"



David Cameron ( the prime minister - remember him ? ) resigns

Prime Minister David Cameron is to step down by October after the UK voted to leave the European Union. Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, he said "fresh leadership" was needed.


The Referendum !


Parliament to review Hybrid Bill petitioning process

& about time - see 20-June.


Stop HS2, HS2AA denied locus

The Lords select committee have upheld locus challenges to Stop HS2 (in full), and HS2AA (partially). Not a great start.


Brexit could stop HS2 (Cameron ... Who ?)

If only .. Hasnt happened (yet) . Stop HS2 ponder their options.


Sudden Death of Neil Caulfield

All those involved in the petitioning process were saddened to learn of the death of Neil Caufield, the clerk to the HS2 select committee. He made every effort to assist petitioners in presenting their views, and offered advice on how best to work within the committee system (more... )


HS2 – the zombie train that refuses to die

Grauniad article by Simon Jenkins


Petitioning the House of Lords

Cyclists, walkers - support this petition and help save the Misbourne valley.

MPs protest to HS2 chief executive about HS2 locus challenges


Not such a good idea after all ?

An academic workshop held to review the HS2 project has concluded that maybe its not all it was cracked up to be, and actually wont deliver on the promises made - see the report here, and BBC news item.

As featured on Today (R4), 0:14, 0:53, 1:32


House of Lords Select Cttee visit North Bucks

... from Turweston through to Steeple Claydon. The visit, unlike in the Commons, followed standard, fact finding format, with a small number of people on the bus and no public meetings ( more )


Commons Third Reading 'Debate'

The report stage and third reading of the HS2 hybrid bill were completed in around 3 hours, on the afternoon of 23rd March - leaving insufficient time to debate or vote on many amendments.

Mrs Gillan: 

On a point of order, Mr Speaker... It might be of interest to know that when the Channel Tunnel Bill went through the House in 1987, its Report stage was not guillotined and lasted from 7 pm until 1.50 am. Only after that did its Third Reading debate begin. Mr Speaker, could you confirm that, according to the timetable motion on the Order Paper, if any Member chose to press an amendment in the first or second group to a vote, that vote would eat into the time allowed for Members to debate these matters? Our constituents are not going to understand why Members do not press these amendments to the vote, but the Government have engineered this so that if we do so, we will have no time to debate the Bill. 

House of Lords

First and Second reading debates. Petitioning toolkit - deadline 18-April-2016

Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee report

Follow up to PHSO Report of an investigation into a complaint about HS2 Ltd. -

"There is still a culture of defensive communication and misinformation within this public body and that is not acceptable.  Unless those responsible for delivering HS2 understand that first and foremost they serve the public, they will continue to be criticised for having complete disregard for the people, some of them vulnerable, who are impacted by this large-scale infrastructure project" (Bernard Jenkin MP, Chairman)


Amendments at Third Reading

Cheryl Gillan has proposed amendments to the bill at 3rd reading -

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment seeks to prevent any surface railway route through The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and ensure that any railway within the AONB be built in a fully-bored tunnel.

See Notice of Amendments page for details


Select Committee - final report published

Nothing new for the Chilterns, at first sight ? Some responses to the report -


AP4/SES3 report

"Summary of issues" raised in SES3/AP4 consultation now published .. usual brief summary.


HS2AA case goes to Aarhus

The Compliance Committee of the Aarhus Convention has confirmed that HS2AA’s case will be heard on 10 March 2016 - more . HS2 Amersham action group contributed £1000 towards the cost of this.

Woodland Trust petition the committee..

"HS2 Ltd’s preparation for the Hybrid Bill includes error after error, flawed calculations, and methods that go against Government guidance in its vain attempts to justify loss and damage to 63 ancient woods along the first phase of the route. (More..)"

Vote for the Cubbington Pear

As European Tree of the Year (threatened by HS2)


HS2 respond to Select Ctte 'First Special Report'

"This responses (sic) addresses matters raised by the select committee concerning the Department for Transport’s discretionary property compensation schemes for HS2. Specifically, the operation of the Need to Sell scheme and related issues."

Inquiry into HS2 complaints handling

Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee call for evidence on the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) "Report of the results of an investigation into a complaint about High Speed 2 Ltd (HS2 Ltd)"

  • Concerned only with impacts on residents
  • Closes 11th Feb

FOI News

Latest bulletin from the Campaign for Freedom of Information

Save Goring Gap

See this site for campaign against unsightly railway gantries in the AONBs near Goring, and sign the petition


HS2AA appear before the Select Cttee

See slides and report, linked from this page, and Transcript.


MPs addresses the Select Committee


Bucks agreement with HS2

During the AP4 hearings on 20th January, Bucks reached agreements with HS2 Ltd regarding several outstanding issues, including the relocation of the Chiltern Tunnel portal haul road. See this press release for details.

Older News >>>