Response to “Cancel HS2” petition

The Government has responded to the ‘Cancel HS2 immediately and repeal the 2013 and 2017 High Speed Rail Acts’ petition, which runs until March 21 2018. It promises that, “At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.” (My italics.) Right now, 16,958 people have signed the petition.

Here’s the official response:

HS2 will provide new rail network capacity, drive economic growth, create jobs and investment, train the next generation of engineers and better connect our major cities. It is on time and on budget.

New Railway

HS2 will form the new backbone of our national rail network, providing new capacity and better connecting our major cities, while creating more space for commuter and freight trains on our busiest lines. This will create better connections and more seats for passengers and allow more goods to be moved by rail, which will also help to improve air quality.

Opening in 2026, the HS2 network will serve towns and cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Crewe, Nottingham, Derby, York and Newcastle, with trains running on to Scotland. By 2033 up to 18 trains an hour will run in both directions, carrying up to 1,100 passengers each.

HS2 is a major investment but an essential one. HS2’s total budget is £55.7bn. Over the current Spending Review period spending on HS2 will equate to 0.14% of GDP. We are keeping a tough grip on costs and are determined to deliver HS2 on time and on budget.

Benefits to the North

We are delivering unprecedented investment in infrastructure in the North, to redress the historic imbalance in infrastructure investment between north and south. The Northern Powerhouse is a key priority, and our substantial investment will boost the northern economy and reduce the prosperity gap with the South that has existed for far too long.

We are also working to future-proof HS2 by including provisions for new junctions in the North and Midlands, which will help ensure that the infrastructure can accommodate the Northern powerhouse. HS2 will transform capacity and connectivity for millions of people across the north. With HS2 stations in Manchester, Leeds, Crewe and Sheffield, the north will be the principal beneficiary of HS2.

HS2 will underpin the plans of local areas to grow their economies, in places like Leeds where the South Bank regeneration project around Leeds station is expected to support 35,000 jobs across key sectors and 4,000 new homes. HS2 will generate around £25 billion of contracts and represents a major opportunity for businesses across the whole of the UK including small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Government has committed £60m to take HS3, or Northern Powerhouse Rail, forward and we are working closely with Transport for the North to develop a business case for the project by the end of 2018. The Government is investing over £13bn in the north of England’s transport infrastructure, including on roads and railways, to deliver faster journeys and increased capacity. That work will continue apace and is a key priority for the Department.

This includes dramatically improving journeys for passengers across the north with the Great North Rail Project. By 2020, as a result of this ambitious and comprehensive upgrade, passengers will benefit from faster and more comfortable journeys, as well as new direct services across the north and beyond. We are also developing options for the Transpennine Route Upgrade, to increase the number of seats, and reduce journey times, allowing journeys such as from Leeds to Manchester in 40 minutes.

HS2 is key to the future of our transport system and the relationship it has with our existing network is a vital part of our planning. It is not a case of “either/or” but rather one of joined up and complementary delivery. Over £38 billion is being spent on improving the existing rail network for the five years between 2014 and 2019. This investment is funding projects to increase capacity on the existing rail network and improve journeys for all passengers. There is also potential for HS2 to increase the amount of freight transported by rail – meaning fewer cars and lorries on our roads, cutting congestion and carbon.

Creating Jobs and skills

HS2 will support growth in the wider economy, worth an additional 100,000 jobs. 70% of all jobs created by HS2 will be outside of London. But this isn’t just about when the new railway opens – jobs and skills are being created now.

Several contracts have already been let and major contracts for up to £11.8 billion worth for the civil engineering work will be let this year. HS2 is working with businesses across the UK – including many small and medium-sized firms – to ensure they are well prepared to bid for work on HS2. HS2 will generate around 25,000 jobs during construction as well as 2,000 apprenticeships.

And HS2 is about upskilling: a more skilled workforce is vital for the country as we forge a bold new positive role for ourselves in the world. The National College for High Speed Rail, based in Doncaster and Birmingham, will open its doors later this month. The College will train young people to build HS2 and other world-leading rail projects.

Department for Transport

Click this link to view the response online:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200793?reveal_response=yes

The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.

The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee: https://petition.parliament.uk/help#petitions-committee

Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament

 

 

 

Environmental strategy: tell the Mayor what you think

This is blatantly nicked straight from the City Hall site:

London Environment Strategy consultation

In many ways, London’s environment is improving – but in other ways it is far from what it should be. Toxic air, noise pollution, the threat to our green spaces and the adverse effects of climate change all pose major risks to the health and wellbeing of Londoners.

We’ve been discussing environmental issues here on Talk London in recent months, and gathering your views through surveys too. Insight we’ve gathered so far has helped to inform the Mayor’s draft London Environment Strategy – proposals include measures to tackle London’s toxic air, make London the world’s first National Park City – with more than 50% of the city being green space, and reduce plastic bottle waste – and now we’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Help shape the strategy by having your say in these discussions and surveys before 17 November. Just register or login to take part. If you represent an organisation, see this additional information.

Northolt protest notes

Quite a number of you will have received leaflets through your letter box from a group calling itself STOP NORTHOLT. We would like to give you the facts as we know them regarding the claims in this leaflet:

  1. Runway works to start in 2018 – these are to REPAIR the runway and improve the arrester beds to prevent aircraft overshooting onto the A40. These have been promised for some time but the MoD has finally released the necessary monies
  2. Possible scheduled service – this has been floating around for some time – realistically with the airbase operating as it does now there is NO way a scheduled service could operate out of Northolt.
  3. The number of movements and type of civilian aircraft are strictly limited
    • The maximum no of movements per year is 12000 (a movement is a landing or a take-off) – these can only operate between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
  4. The maximum number of movements per day is 40.
    • Aircraft have a maximum capacity of 29 passengers.
    • We hope this helps to clarify the situation.

Master Brewer Meeting – Thurs 25th

Meyer Homes has invited residents to share their views on its emerging plans for the site. Please register your interest by email or telephone as indicated in the letter below.

If you have any comments on the proposals that you wish to share with Ickenham Residents’ Association, please write directly to us at ickenhamresidents@hotmail.com.

As always, we value your feedback.

Here goes (very slightly edited):

Hillingdon Gateway – Invitation to Neighbour Workshop 25th May 2017

Meyer Homes owns the Former Master Brewer site off Freezeland Way, Hillingdon (which we are now referring to as Hillingdon Gateway). As you are no doubt aware, this site has long been the subject of development proposals including the scheme which was approved in 2014 for a new Tesco Store, retail units, hotel and 125 new homes. Since purchasing the site from Tesco/Spenhill in 2015, Meyer Homes has been considering the most appropriate approach to the site in the context of the increasing need for new homes in Hillingdon and across the capital.

Given the site’s history and importance, we recognise that any plans for the site may be of significant interest to local people and we appreciate that you may have a specific perspective and a particular interest in what happens here. For that reason, we are keen to talk to you as a nearest neighbour, to understand your views on our emerging plans for the site and wanted to invite you to a neighbour workshop to discuss our initial thoughts.

We believe it is important to provide you with the opportunity to inform our proposals alongside the work we have been undertaking with the London Borough of Hillingdon, in order for us to consider your input as we continue to pull together the plans for the site.

Hillingdon Park Baptist Church, 25 Hercies Road, Uxbridge UB10 9LS

Thursday 25th May 2017 from 7.00pm – 9.00pm

To help us make sure the event is as useful as possible for all of us, we would be grateful if you could confirm your attendance by email at hillingdongateway@glhearn.com or by phone on 0344 225 0003. You can also use these contact details to talk to a member of the project team to ask any questions you may have.

Yours sincerely
Nick Jones
For and on behalf of Meyer Homes

Ickenham Pump Road Plan

As you probably know, the accident-prone Ickenham Pump area is to be redesigned. What follows is extracted from a letter to the Residents’ Association from LBH and a link to the proposed plan. Comments have to be in to the address at the foot of this letter by February 15. The proposals are an improvement on what exists. The question is “could they be better?”

Here goes:

Formal Consultation: Swakeleys Road and High Road Ickenham – Proposed Road Safety Improvements

The informal consultation responses have been analysed which indicated a majority in support of the proposed measures. Following consideration of the consultation responses, the Cabinet Member for Planning, Transportation and Recycling has approved for formal consultation to be carried out on this proposal.

The optimum proposal identified by the independent study, and supported in principle by Ward Members and the Metropolitan Police, includes the following proposed measures, as shown in this plan:-

Ickenham Pump
• Closure of the central access to the Ickenham Pump (vehicle surveys and vehicle tracking software has been used to ensure vehicle movements can be maintained within the Ickenham Pump service road with the inclusion of additional yellow lines)

• Residents’ permit only parking bay extended within the Ickenham Pump service road

• Two raised tables on the Ickenham Pump service road to calm traffic

• Potential options for sympathetic landscaping within the closed central access to the Ickenham Pump

Swakeleys Road
• Re-location of the existing zebra crossing on Swakeleys Road to 20 metres from its junction with High Road Ickenham. This would require;

• Closure of the access to the service road opposite the Post Office

• Re-location of the existing northbound bus stop and goods vehicle loading bay

High Road Ickenham
• Extended ‘Keep Clear’ markings on High Road Ickenham at the northern access to the Ickenham Pump

• Extended operational hours of the existing yellow lines on High Road Ickenham adjacent to St Giles’ Church The proposed scheme has been subject to a positive review undertaken by an independent road safety auditor.

The statutory consultation period will run until 15 February 2017. A formal notice will appear in a local paper as well as street notices displayed on site during this time. If you would like to comment on the proposal, please write to the postal or email address below by Wednesday 15 February 2017 and include your address to help us analyse all responses.

Transport and Projects Residents Services
London Borough of Hillingdon,
4W/06, Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge, UB8 1UW

T.01895 556266 F.01895 250676

PS (11 Feb): Reading the Council’s official notice, it suggests quoting the reference number 4W/06/25/01/17.

It also says this:

If you have any comments or feedback on the proposed parking and traffic improvement schemes below, please contact the Transport and Projects Team:

I don’t know whether telephoned or emailed comments have the same weight as physical documents. I shall enquire, but time is running out…

PPS: Email is fine. My thanks to Cllr Hensley for calling me about this at 9:00 this morning. He’s probably the most responsive ‘official’ I’ve ever met.

House of Lords HS2 report today

The House of Lords HS2 Select Committee is reporting in public today at 10am. (Committee Room 4 if you want to rush up there.)

Or you can watch it on parliament tv

The Chairman will announce the publication of the report and make a few, brief concluding remarks. The Committee will adjourn very shortly thereafter and the report will be made available on the Committee’s website.

This link takes you straight to the Ickenham bit.