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HS2 legislation not due before general election

Legislation to pave the way for the construction of the controversial HS2 rail link - which will link Yorkshire with London - is not likely to complete its passage through Parliament before next year's general election, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has indicated.

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Failure to get the HS2 bill onto the statute book by the time of the May 2015 poll could make it a contentious election issue between the parties, particularly in constituencies along the route of the proposed line.

Questions were asked about Labour's commitment after shadow chancellor Ed Balls said there would be "no blank cheque" for HS2, though Ed Miliband has since reaffirmed his backing for the scheme.

HS2 hits cross-party setback

Cross-party backing for HS2, which would run between London and Yorkshire has been thrown into doubt after Tory and Labour MPs from flood ravaged constituencies said they would refuse to support the £42 billion line unless improvements were made to the West Country railway network.

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The prospect of a rebellion over HS2 from MPs of both parties was brought into sharp focus after Tory Gary Streeter, MP for South West Devon, said he would vote against it unless there was a firm Government commitment to properly replace the wrecked mainline at Dawlish in Devon.

Fellow Tory Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, who said he had so far "held his nose" when voting in favour of HS2 because he did not want to support it, said it was the duty of MPs in the far South West to stand up for their constituents.

Every MP in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset should sign up to Mr Streeter's position to send a "very powerful message" to the Government and Labour, which both support HS2, according to Labour former Cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw.

Mr Streeter said he had already told ministers he would vote against the HS2 hybrid Bill at second reading unless a proper commitment was made to the West Country.

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HS2 Boss: Train will benefit wider transport network

The Chief Executive of HS2, the company which will build the new high speed rail link from the capital to the North has told Calendar - towns and cities across the region will benefit from the project.

Costing £50 billion, trains will run from London via, Birmingham, Sheffield and Leeds.

Alison Munro has been meeting local businesses in the area. She told Calendar HS2 would free up space on existing lines and bring investment opportunities:

Government blocks report into HS2 rail project

The Government has blocked the release of a report into the controversial HS2 rail project.Campaigners who oppose building the high-speed line between Yorkshire and London are demanding the publication of a 'cost-benefit analysis' report which was drawn up two years ago.

Ministers have refused to publish it despite a ruling from the Information Commissioner that it should be.

Ministers block HS2 report

Ministers have blocked the release of a report into the controversial HS2 rail project by over-ruling a decision by the freedom of information watchdog that it should be disclosed to campaigners.

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Campaigners against construction of the high-speed line between London and the north of England are demanding the publication of a cost-benefit analysis of the £42 billion scheme drawn up in 2011 for the Major Projects Authority.

They were hopeful that the Information Commissioner's decision last year to back their freedom of information request would lead to the revelation of damning information about doubts over the scheme's value for money.

But Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said he was taking the "exceptional" step of vetoing the Information Commissioner's ruling that it should be released, arguing that there was a "strong public interest against disclosure".

Wakefield Council says "no" to HS2

Wakefield’s councillors have today voted against the Government’s plans for the new HS2 high speed rail network. At the meeting of full Council councillors made it clear that Wakefield welcomes investment in the rail network in the North and called for a package of transport investment measures.

They put forward an investment package proposal aiming to give better value for money and to better address the economic problems facing both the Wakefield district and City Region.

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Supreme Court rules in favour of HS2

Campaigners against HS2 were defeated once more in court today, as the country's most senior judges threw out an appeal against the project. The Supreme Court ruled the government wasn't trying to rush through the high speed rail link or breaching environmental laws.

But the protest doesn't end there. Today a group of campaigners from Yorkshire travelled to Downing Street to try and get the government to change the route of the rail line. Our Political Correspondent Paul Brand reports.

Reaction to Supreme Court ruling on HS2

The Government has vowed to "press ahead" with the HS2 national high-speed rail line which will link Yorkshire to the capital after winning a key legal victory in the Supreme Court today.

The highest court in the land unanimously dismissed accusations by objectors that the Government was "cutting corners" to push the estimated #50 billion project through Parliament, in breach of European environmental laws.

Baroness Kramer, Minister of State for Transport, has welcomed the decision but Emma Crane from HS2 Action Alliance says the protest group are now planning to take their case to Europe - which could cause more delays.

Extension call for HS2 consultations

Call for extension to consultation deadline Credit: PA

The pressure group Stop Hs2 South Yorkshire is calling for an extension to the deadline to the route consultation scheduled for january 31st.

The group has written to local MPs demanding they push for an extension to the deadline, saying there hasn't been enough time for local residents to respond.

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