Latest Rail News


‘No justification’: Buckinghamshire councils demand government halt HS2 prep work until Notice to Proceed given

Councils across Buckinghamshire have agreed to pass a special motion calling on the government and HS2 to halt all current site work in the county.

Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern district councils and Buckinghamshire County Council said they were “pilling pressure on the government” to stop all current HS2 preparation work until the designs are approved, the full cost of the scheme made clear, and a ‘Notice to Proceed’ has been approved.

All three authorities have now debated and agreed the special motion, whilst South Bucks DC has also agreed to write to HS2 to express the same concerns.

Buckinghamshire CC said the early HS2 works are “already causing devastation across the county” from Calvert, Great Missenden and down into Colne Valley where there have been several protests against HS2 construction work.


Major utility works, roadworks, ground investigation, vegetation removal and netting of hedgerows are all happening “in spite” of it being widely reported that the official Notice to Proceed for the project has been pushed back to the end of the year.

The authority said that as required by the DfT, a Notice a Proceed should not be given until the management capability, affordability of contracts and robustness of the revised business case has been fully approved.

In a joint statement, the council leaders said there was “absolutely no justification” why the county’s residents “should suffer significant disruption and long-term environmental destruction while things remain so unclear.”

The statement says residents are complaining of “massively disruptive” HS2 contractors “trampling all over the county doing preparatory work without the final scheme details even being known.”

“Some of the current work is also extremely controversial and is creating significant issues locally.

“As a result, councils also want HS2 Ltd to significantly improve the effectiveness of its community engagement with all those impacted by the line.”

The authority leaders added that if the issues that have plagued Crossrail are anything to go by, then “it is clear HS2 is definitely far from on time and on budget,” and as a result have asked for a proper review to be undertaken before any further taxpayer money is committed.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


Rail industry Focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the technology they use to do it. Faithful+Gould...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind? Jane Fisher joined three members of the Arup team...
View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >