HS2 roundup

Timothy Mould QC kicked off the meat of proceedings at the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill Select Committee on Tuesday with the opening statement on behalf of Department for Transport. He indicated that DfT would be arguing strongly against petitions for new, long tunnels through, for instance, Buckinghamshire which would not be of general benefit and would compromise performance of the railway. “We are keen to demonstrate that there is no case for spending more to achieve less,” he said. HS2 technical director Andrew McNaughton is due in committee today to describe the route

The government has asked HS2 boss Sir David Higgins to produce proposals for a high speed rail connection in the north of England, potentially from Liverpool to Hull. This work will also look at how to bring the benefits of high speed rail to the north more quickly. He has been asked to report in time for this year’s Autumn Statement.

HS2’s new construction headquarters is to be Two Snowhill in Birmingham’s Colmore Business District. A major fit out will be carried out ready for work to start in 22 months, with up to 1500 jobs expected to be created in the city.  The move is the largest ever public sector relocation to Birmingham.