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Author Topic: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion  (Read 221910 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #1020 on: June 21, 2020, 12:08:03 pm »

Also worth noting that the BBC seems to have accepted the £106bn figure as though it was a fact or something...

When we bought our former house at auction and started doing it up, I resolved to keep a careful note of what it cost, but I don't really know the end result, nor what I should have counted as essential and what was more just decorative, nor whether I deduct the portion of the box of grommets that didn't get used or add back what I disposed of that saved money. HS2 is a far bigger proposition, and however it is measured, the real cost is never going to be known. £106 bn including trains seems to be this year's accepted guesstimate. Imagine what would happen if the Chancellor were to report that it cost a lot less on the day it opens.
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« Reply #1021 on: June 22, 2020, 07:22:41 am »

Also worth noting that the BBC seems to have accepted the £106bn figure as though it was a fact or something...

When we bought our former house at auction and started doing it up, I resolved to keep a careful note of what it cost, but I don't really know the end result, nor what I should have counted as essential and what was more just decorative, nor whether I deduct the portion of the box of grommets that didn't get used or add back what I disposed of that saved money. HS2 is a far bigger proposition, and however it is measured, the real cost is never going to be known. £106 bn including trains seems to be this year's accepted guesstimate. Imagine what would happen if the Chancellor were to report that it cost a lot less on the day it opens.

Quite a good example.

When doing up a house, the costs of soft furnishings, doing the garden etc are often left out of people budgets.

What HS2 headline figure includes is all the "soft furnishings, the garden and a new car"  in other words the HS2 headline budget not only includes the construction of the line it also includes the final fit out of stations and rolling stock; on the other hand in France they just quote the cost of construction hence they build their highspeed railways cheaper
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TonyK
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« Reply #1022 on: June 30, 2020, 03:18:32 pm »

Chris Packham, the BBC presenter, is to appeal against the refusal of the High Court judge to stop HS2 for him. The appeal, which will be heard on 8 July, will be a roly-poly appeal, being two appeals in one. The first part will decide if he does indeed have leave to appeal, and when that has been granted, the court will move immediately to consider if the trial judge erred in law when refusing the injunction. There are two further grounds he is asking the court to consider also. There are many reports about it, but this one from the Bucks Free Press (don't try saying that after a sufficiency of port or two) seems fairly complete, and isn't behind a paywall.

Quote
TV star Chris Packham HS2 appeal to be heard by court
By Kiera Gillies  @Kiera_BFP
Apprentice reporter

The Court of Appeal has decided to hear Chris Packham’s appeal regarding an application for permission for judicial review of the Prime Minister’s decision to proceed with the HS2 railway project.

The hearing has been listed for July 8, 2020.

Lord Justice Lewison held that the matter is of “considerable public interest” and ordered that a rolled-up hearing be listed before mid-July in light of the fact that further works by HS2 Ltd and its contractors are scheduled to take place.

A rolled-up hearing means that the court will first consider whether Mr Packham has permission to appeal and, if permission is granted, it will then immediately consider his application for judicial review.

On April 3 Mr Packham, represented by law firm Leigh Day, applied to the High Court for an interim injunction to stop the irreversible destruction of ancient woodlands pending the outcome of a substantive judicial review of the HS2 decision.

The High Court declined to grant an injunction and refused permission for judicial review and Mr Packham subsequently sought permission to appeal from the Court of Appeal.

Mr Packham’s appeal focuses on two grounds both concerning alleged failings in the way in which the Prime Minister and the Transport Secretary reached their decision to give the HS2 project the go-ahead. First, Mr Packham contends that the Prime Minister and the Transport Secretary were told (and so would have proceeded from an understanding) that the Oakervee Report set out a sufficient account of environmental impacts for the purpose of their decision to go ahead with HS2, when in fact it had not done so.

Second, that Mr Packham argues that the Prime Minister and the Transport Secretary failed to have regard to the implications of the Paris Agreement when they took the decision.

The Paris Agreement requires a restriction on the global increase in temperature by 2050.

Any addition in emissions between now and 2050 will negatively impact on such temperature increases and thereby on the commitments made under the Paris Agreement.

Mr Packham’s case states "that in fact the Prime Minister and Transport Secretary were not told this and so they failed to take into account the implications of the Paris Agreement, particularly as regards the increase in carbon emissions during the construction period of HS2 (which predates 2050)."

In his appeal Mr Packham also highlights that the UK has put in place a series of consecutive five-yearly carbon budgets to steadily reduce emissions over the intervening period between now and 2050.

He believes the UK is not currently on track to meet its fourth and fifth budgets (which cover the years 2023-2032) and that the construction emissions from HS2 would, therefore, further undermine the Secretary of State’s duty to meet these carbon budgets (under section 4(1)(b) of the Climate Change Act 2008).

The appeal contends that the PM and Secretary of State were not informed about this issue before making their decision to go ahead.

Mr Packham said: “I am delighted that the Lord Justices see merit in hearing the appeal and that they have acknowledged the ‘considerable public interest’ in the case - a public interest which spans the heinous and irreparable damage done to ancient woodland, breeding birds, badgers and bats this Spring, the complete incompatibility of this project to the government’s obligations to address climate change, the appalling conduct of HS2 Ltd and its employees in a time of global crisis, and the future drain that the project will be on that public’s purse, which due to the pandemic is empty.

"The public have been conned by HS2, hopefully now we, the public, will see some justice.”

Tom Short, solicitor at law firm Leigh Day, said: “Our client is encouraged by the Court of Appeal’s decision to hear his case and its recognition of the considerable public interest in the matter.

"He was disappointed by the lower court’s decision and welcomes the scrutiny of environmental concerns around the HS2 project that a hearing in the Court of Appeal will bring, including in respect of climate change considerations.

"As this week’s CCC report has shown, surface transport is the single highest emitting sector in the UK since 2015 and is off track to contribute as required to achieve Net Zero and meet our Paris obligations.

"Our client believes that a major surface transport project that increases emissions is contrary to the UK’s climate obligations and seriously risks imperilling our future. Mr Packham has been buoyed by the tremendous support his case has received from members of the public and from environmental experts who provided witness evidence including the RSPB and the Woodland Trust.”

Mr Packham is represented by solicitors Tom Short and Carol Day, and paralegals Lewis Hadler and Rhiannon Adam, at law firm Leigh Day.

In short, a new electric railway is more polluting than doing nothing, and the Oakervee report was wrong. He is represented by law firm Field Leigh Day. I haven't included the photo because we all know what he looks like.
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« Reply #1023 on: June 30, 2020, 03:27:40 pm »

Should this appeal fail, which court is next on the list?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #1024 on: June 30, 2020, 03:31:12 pm »

Should this appeal fail, which court is next on the list?  Roll Eyes

Diana Ross - the Supreme. After that, it would be the European Court if there is a matter of EU law involved that we are currently bound by. If it goes that far, we should have HS3 and HS4 built by the time judgment is handed down.
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« Reply #1025 on: June 30, 2020, 05:11:53 pm »

Is he paying his own legal costs on this or are the taxpayers paying. If he has legal aid I think it is scandelous when so many much more worthy cases are refused..Perhaps the Giovernment should put in a claim for costs if he loses again
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TonyK
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« Reply #1026 on: June 30, 2020, 08:21:37 pm »

Is he paying his own legal costs on this or are the taxpayers paying. If he has legal aid I think it is scandelous when so many much more worthy cases are refused..Perhaps the Giovernment should put in a claim for costs if he loses again


I believe the case is crowd-funded. I can't imagine that legal aid would be available, but you never know. It costs £528.00 to lodge an application for an appeal to be heard, and £1,199 to lodge the appeal if that is successful. The court has already said that this is a matter of considerable public interest, so they probably won't saddle the loser with all of the winner's legal costs. The facts of the case were either agreed or found in the lower court, it's just the opinion that is in dispute. So there won't be legions of expert witnesses, just a small army of lawyers. It will be expensive, but not millions, I wouldn't have thought.
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« Reply #1027 on: July 01, 2020, 06:57:47 am »

Is he paying his own legal costs on this or are the taxpayers paying. If he has legal aid I think it is scandelous when so many much more worthy cases are refused..Perhaps the Giovernment should put in a claim for costs if he loses again


I believe the case is crowd-funded. I can't imagine that legal aid would be available, but you never know. It costs £528.00 to lodge an application for an appeal to be heard, and £1,199 to lodge the appeal if that is successful. The court has already said that this is a matter of considerable public interest, so they probably won't saddle the loser with all of the winner's legal costs. The facts of the case were either agreed or found in the lower court, it's just the opinion that is in dispute. So there won't be legions of expert witnesses, just a small army of lawyers. It will be expensive, but not millions, I wouldn't have thought.

Chris has already raised around £150,000 via crowdfunding for his legal challenge, his original target was £30,000, so I think you can all rest easy that he won't be an indeterminate or indefinite drain on public funds.........ironically unlike HS2!  Smiley
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« Reply #1028 on: July 01, 2020, 09:39:34 am »


Chris has already raised around £150,000 via crowdfunding for his legal challenge, his original target was £30,000, so I think you can all rest easy that he won't be an indeterminate or indefinite drain on public funds.........ironically unlike HS2!  Smiley

I'm also pleased to hear that poverty amongst lawyers is to be avoided yet again.
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« Reply #1029 on: July 10, 2020, 04:46:32 pm »

I see Alistair Lenczner is at it again. He, with his company Expedition Engineering and architects Weston Williamson + Partners, punted HS4Air in 2018. Now the saw team have submitted another unsolicited proposal to DfT and the NIC called HS2 North. And, like last time, the times is acting as cheerleader.

There's an interview with Lenzner in Railway Technology, and the map is in this Leeds Live piece (oddly headed "Forgotten plans for underground line linking Leeds and Manchester").


I can't find the underlying proposal on line, but there is something from Weston Williamson about their ideas for a through HS2 station at Manchester Piccadilly
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« Reply #1030 on: July 14, 2020, 09:59:43 pm »

HS2 now rated unachievable within timeframe & budget..



https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/local-news/success-hs2-now-appears-unachievable-18583944

A red rating is described in the report as meaning: "Successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable. There are major issues with project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable. The project may need re-scoping and/or its overall viability reassessed."
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« Reply #1031 on: July 15, 2020, 06:52:57 am »

A get out clause?
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TonyK
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« Reply #1032 on: July 15, 2020, 10:49:48 am »

A get out clause?

Not really. I read the report, admittedly rather rapidly. It has a lot of diagrams and graphs, and quite a few memorable phrases. A number of the plans that were red-rated in past years have improved, so there is no reason why HS2 won't in due course. It's a warning, although its rating was given after the recent Prime Ministerial reboot of the project. A civil engineering publication might say that it needs improvement in strategic leadership, the Guardian might favour scrapping the project, and writing off the money already spent, plus an apology to the cities who have been planning and building in expectation over the past few years.

We can do some things well, though: road building projects and Heathrow expansion seem to be coming on nicely, as is the project to bury all of our nuclear waste in a very deep hole. 5G is doing well too, which won't come as good news to everybody, but will be music to the ears of sellers of tinfoil hats.

In a development that wasn't expected, at least not by me and Chris Packham, the New Civil Engineer reports that the judgment in the case against HS2 has been cited in another case by Transport Action Network against DfT, alleging that the building of lots of roads is illegal. DfT said no it isn't, pointing to the reasoning used in the HS2 case. I think that is a little premature, given that High Court judgments don't bind other judges in the way that Appeal Court decisions do, but presumably there isn't any other case law. It does seem a little unfair that losing a case against an electric railway can give the perceived enemy a weapon to use in a different case, but such is life. The Appeal Court is due to announce its decision on whether an appeal can be heard or not in "a few weeks". If it is, and if the court subsequently finds the original judgment flawed, Transport Action Network (no, I haven't either) will have good grounds for appeal if they lose in the first case. My own very personal opinion is that this will all end up in the Supreme Court one day, because somebody isn't going to like the answer. That would certainly decide the law for the foreseeable future.
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« Reply #1033 on: July 15, 2020, 05:01:37 pm »

HS2 now rated unachievable within timeframe & budget..



https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/local-news/success-hs2-now-appears-unachievable-18583944

A red rating is described in the report as meaning: "Successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable. There are major issues with project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable. The project may need re-scoping and/or its overall viability reassessed."

Opponents of HS2 shouldn't get too excited. Crossrail is now in the second year of its 'Red' rating. East-West Rail (Western Section - the easy bit!) also has a 'Red' rating, along with some other health and military programmes we won't concern ourselves with here.

The assessment was made before the Oakervee Review, the purpose of which was to check the scope and viability of HS2. This review concluded that the project should continue. 
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« Reply #1034 on: July 15, 2020, 05:16:32 pm »

HS2 now rated unachievable within timeframe & budget..



https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/local-news/success-hs2-now-appears-unachievable-18583944

A red rating is described in the report as meaning: "Successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable. There are major issues with project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable. The project may need re-scoping and/or its overall viability reassessed."

Opponents of HS2 shouldn't get too excited. Crossrail is now in the second year of its 'Red' rating. East-West Rail (Western Section - the easy bit!) also has a 'Red' rating, along with some other health and military programmes we won't concern ourselves with here.

The assessment was made before the Oakervee Review, the purpose of which was to check the scope and viability of HS2. This review concluded that the project should continue. 

Indeed, And IEP was rated red too, in 2018.

The IPA is an odd thing. Despite the name, it doesn't really have any authority over projects, or over the funders and customers in government. It's a kind of in-house project management consultancy, advising them on how to do projects well - or, in practice, how not to screw up too badly.

Since HS2 has had a big revision to its estimated cost not long ago, and I don't think that's been reflected in the implentation plans and timescales yet, it stands to reason that those plans are not self-consistent. And that, in essence, is what the rating says.
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