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  1. National

HS2 defends project saying there is 'no alternative'

There is "no other alternative" that delivers the "benefits" of HS2 said chief executive of the project today, after the Institute of Directors slammed the initiative.

While we respect the right of the IOD to state its case, we believe that HS2 will provide value for money and will bring about a transformational change to the economic geography of our country...

The IoD have not yet released their polling data but it is clear that their members are strongly in favour of increasing capacity with 80% supporting investment in long-distance trains and 41% supporting HS2.

  1. National

Investment elsewhere 'far more sensible' than on HS2

Investment in the West and East Coast main lines as well as a variety of other infrastructure projects would be a "more sensible option," the director of the Institute of Directors said today after it slammed the HS2 high-speed rail project. Simon Walker added:

Businesses up and down the country know value for money when they see it, and our research shows that they don't see it in the Government's case for HS2.

We agree with the need for key infrastructure spending, but the business case for HS2 simply is not there. The money would be far better spent elsewhere and in a way that will benefit much more of the country.

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  1. National

Less than half of business chiefs spend travel working

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has said that a central part of the Government's current economic case for HS2 was that time spent on a train is unproductive.

However, the IoD said its recent research showed that this assumption was "wildly inaccurate", as only 6% of directors say they never work on a train. According to the figures:

  • 48% of members say they spend at least half of the journey working
  • 26% work for between a quarter and half the time
  • 21% spend up to a quarter of the journey time working productively
  1. National

Business chiefs slams HS2 project as a 'grand folly'

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has joined those calling for HS2 to be scrapped, branding the £50 billion high-speed rail project "a grand folly".

The survey also showed that there was little enthusiasm for the project even in the regions where the benefits are supposed to be strongest. Credit: HS2/PA

A survey of IoD members found that just 27% feel HS2 represents good value for money, and 70% say the scheme will have no impact on the productivity of their business.

The survey also showed that there was little enthusiasm for the project even in the regions where the benefits are supposed to be strongest.

Read more: HS2 chief: £80bn claim 'absurd'

Costs could soar in controversial rail project

Villages in parts of Bucks and Northants will be affected Credit: ITV News Anglia

The cost of the HS2 rail project which will travel through parts of Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire could reach at least £80bn, almost double the current estimate.

The study by the Institute for Economic Affairs called for the project to be scrapped according to the Sunday Telegraph.

In the report, to be published tomorrow, the IEA says the cost of the scheme has been vastly underestimated, and argues that the £80billion price tag could deliver £320billion of value if spent on road and other rail and transport projects.

An image of how a HS2 train could look

Campaigners are also warn that more than half a million people will have their lives affected by the project's construction.

HS2 has been launched to provide a 250mph rail link between London and Birmingham from 2026.

The report suggested that the government's £42.6bn estimate would spiral because of a variety of factors, including changes to routes and extra tunnelling to placate opposition from campaigners; new stations, grants for regeneration and compensation for towns and cities bypassed by the new line.

An HS2 spokesman told the paper: "We have considered all construction access routes as part of the development of the draft Environmental Statement... The consultation was open to all members of the public to respond.. We have sought to provide construction access with minimal disruption.

In developing the subsequent formal Environmental Statement, we will be considering how we can further reduce any adverse impacts. HS2 Ltd is still developing transport routes for the construction of the line, accordingly it is not possible to definitively say how the road network will be used."

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  1. Emma Hutchinson

Government says HS2 worth billions to UK economy

Plans for a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham, crossing parts of Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire, could generate billions for the economy and create thousands of jobs, according to the Government.

Today the Transport Secretary announced an HS2 growth task-force to maximise the rail scheme's economic benefits. But others say the plans are a huge waste of money.

  1. Central

Government urges HS2 opponents to avoid 'expensive litigation'

By dismissing all seven grounds of appeal and declining to refer the case to Europe, this is the second time in four months a court has rejected attempts to derail HS2.

Parliament is the right place to debate the merits of HS2, not the law courts, and we will introduce the hybrid bill for Phase One before the year is out.

I urge opponents not to waste any more taxpayers' money on expensive litigation and instead work with us on making HS2 the very best it can be.

We continue to move forward with the crucial business of getting the scheme ready for construction in 2017 and delivering enormous benefits for the country.

– High Speed Rail minister Simon Burns
  1. Central

Court of Appeal rejects challenge to HS2

The Court of Appeal has rejected the latest challenges to Government plans to pursue the HS2 national high-speed rail project, which is to link London with the West Midlands, the North West and Yorkshire.

Fifteen councils and many other objectors, including residents' associations along the route, had asked the appeal judges to order further assessment of the project.

The judges dismissed all grounds of challenge but gave the go-ahead for a final appeal to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the country.

  1. Central

'This project is vital for the economy' says HS2 chief

A High Court judge has ruled in favour of campaigners challenging the Government's handling of HS2, the high speed rail route through the Midlands.

Although he rejected all but one of five legal challenges, Mr. Justice Ouseley said the Government's consultation process was unlawful.

HS2 Ltd argue the high-speed rail will boost the economy:

"This project is vital for the economy and for our country going forward. We need the capacity , we need to improve the connectivity between our major cities. The judgement today gives us the green light to press on with the project and deliver that for our major cities."

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