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Localism Bill becomes law

Last week, the Localism Bill was passed into law. I was glad to support its passage.  Through 13 years of New Labour, we witnessed continual moves towards centralised planning and micro-managing of our everyday lives. This new law will see central government interference cut and give power back to citizens, community groups and local councils. To accompany the Act, the Government have helpfully updated the ‘plain English guide’ that was produced to accompany the Bill. You can read it here. […]

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Transport Committee to publish High Speed Rail report

Via Transport Committee to publish High Speed Rail report: The Committee has agreed to publish its Tenth Report of Session 2010–12, High Speed Rail (HC 1185-I), at 00.01 am on Tuesday 8 November. Embargoed advance PDF copies of the Report will be emailed on Monday 7 November at 8.00 am to all those who gave oral evidence. Media representatives wishing to receive embargoed PDF copies of the document should contact Hannah Pearce: pearcehm@parliament.uk. The Report will be available on The […]

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Speech yesterday against HS2

Via Hansard – Commons | Houses of Parliament, Today in the Commons (13th October 2011): Page 17: Contrary to certain assumptions, I am the only Buckinghamshire MP whose constituency is not affected by the high-speed rail proposal. I know that your constituency is affected by it, Mr Speaker, and that your constituents have very strong views and that you submitted a substantial response to the consultation. The Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and […]

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Oxfordshire County Council is 16th local authority to join 51m to fight HS2

Via 51m.co.uk: Oxfordshire County Council’s decision to join forces with the 51m group now brings to 16 the number of local authorities working collaboratively to oppose the Government’s £32 billion high speed rail project, HS2. Martin Tett, leader of Buckinghamshire County Council and chairman of 51m said: “I’m delighted that Oxfordshire has joined the growing ranks of local authorities who have reviewed, challenged and now oppose this immensely expensive scheme.

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Six days left to respond to the HS2 consultation

THERE are just six days for residents to say ‘no’ to High Speed 2. But an action group have assured Buckinghamshire householders help is at hand to answer the Government’s public consultation. July 29 is the cut off point to respond to the questions. via Just six days to say no to HS2 (From Bucks Free Press). See also the IEA’s report, High Speed 2: the next government project disaster? For the consultation, please see highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk.  I have previously stated my opposition […]

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An extra £6-9bn for HS2?

It emerged today that the cost of a new tube line and so on to cope with passenger dispersal from Euston once HS2 is running north of Birmingham would be £6-9bn. That is not included in the business plan or the cost benefit analysis. I’m glad I asked the question. As was pointed out today, there is much at stake for the generations which follow us. Amid the casual flinging around, or indeed omission of, so much money taken from […]

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Matthew Sinclair: Why are the Government taxing ordinary motorists to pay for a rich man’s high-speed train?

Via ConservativeHome’s Platform: Matthew Sinclair: Why are the Government taxing ordinary motorists to pay for a rich man’s high-speed train? This isn’t about North vs. South. The priority should be improving links into cities in the North and South, and between Northern cities. We should be trying to deliver affordable and less crowded commuter routes instead of pouring money into making a fast intercity service somewhat faster. Even the Government’s figures show they expect most jobs to be created in […]

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Why HS2 doesn’t arouse the nation’s anger

Via the Adam Smith Institute, Why government doesn’t cut spending (even though it should) — a brief introduction to Public Choice Theory: Cutting tax and spending has concentrated costs and dispersed benefits but state spending has concentrated benefits and dispersed costs. That promotes growing state spending. It means that projects like High Speed Rail or wind farms (for example) do not generally arouse anger beyond those people who will have to put up with the downside. The situation is even […]

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China: Off the rails? | The Economist

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The Economist reports China: Off the rails? Public support for high-speed trains is muted. The trains may reach 350km per hour but fares are proportionately eye-watering. That is all right for well-heeled travellers, happy to have an alternative to flying. But tens of millions of poor migrants who work far afield and flock home for the Chinese new year are being priced out the rail market and have to go by bus (the number of bus journeys is soaring). So, the […]

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Matthew Sinclair: Beware of multi-billion pound projects bearing jobs

On HS2 as a job creation scheme: 40,000 jobs from a £17 billion project means that each job is costing well over £400,000.  By contrast, in the wider economy the capital stock is about £3.2 trillion and that supports over 30 million jobs; just over £100,000 a job.  In other words, every job created by high speed rail comes at a cost of four jobs in the wider economy. via ConservativeHome’s Platform: Matthew Sinclair: Beware of multi-billion pound projects bearing […]

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