Latest Rail News


Supreme Court to hear anti-HS2 appeals

Anti-HS2 campaigners are due to have their appeals heard by the Supreme Court next week. 

Three groups are still involved in trying to stop or change HS2 through the legal process, including a coalition of 10 councils, HS2 Action Alliance, and Heathrow Hub that wants a different route. 

The campaigners have so far had little success through the courts, succeeding only in forcing the DfT to re-run part of its consultation. Five local authorities have dropped out of the legal action in the face of the failures. 

The appeal will be heard on October 15 and 16. 

Judges at the Court of Appeal earlier gave the campaign groups permission to appeal on the grounds of a lack of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), saying this should have been undertaken before the decision to go ahead with HS2 was made in January 2012. 

Judge Lord Justice Sullivan said in July: “If, as I have concluded, an SEA is required and there has not been substantial compliance with the SEA Directive, it would be difficult to think of a more egregious breach of the Directive given the scale of the HS2 project and the likely extent of its effects on the environment.” 

Buckinghamshire County Council leader Cllr Martin Tett said: “As the Court of Appeal has given us leave to appeal to the Supreme Court we believe that there is an excellent chance that this appeal will be successful.” 

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “HS2 is absolutely vital if we are to meet the urgent capacity needs we face. Attempts to obstruct HS2 have already been firmly rejected by two courts. The Government will continue to defend any challenge in the Supreme Court, but strongly believes Parliament is the right place to debate the merits of HS2, not the courts.” 

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Chriseaglen   12/10/2013 at 13:07

An SEA or more dilligent planning with consideration of transport, community development and national priorities would and may demonstrate that HS2 should have considered alternatives more comprehensively. HS2 and DFT may lose this case and that will have wasted over £100M on abortive consultant fees. ECML with several branches to Birmingham from the south near Sandy through Coventry and from the north near Grantham through Nottingham with some added track sections near Welwyn and also taking out the Grantham/Newark curves will be lower cost and achieve the extra capacity into and out of London. A better connection across from York/Leeds to Manchester/Liverpool would create a benefit for the North able to take European Gauge containers from Liverpool to and from Selby/Goole and Hull. HS2 20 minute saving does not provide the wide development benefits possible for half the cost.

Add your comment

Rail industry Focus

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

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s... 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 >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >