Is HS2 ‘dithering’ sign of cold feet?

AS the Labour mastermind behind the HS2 proposals criticises the current Government by accusing it of ‘dithering’ over the project, the company charged with moving it forward has awarded four survey contracts.

In an interview for the BBC, Lord Adonis, who in 2010 announced the project in the dying days of the Labour Government, said: “There’s been endless dither and delay, no one is gripping this, no one is driving it forward. There should have been a bill for HS2 in the Queen’s Speech when instead we’re apparently going to be spending month after month debating House of Lords reform.”

Reacting to the comments, Stop HS2 chair Penny Gaines said: “Maybe had Lord Adonis spent a bit longer on the basics of the HS2 project, there might be someone in the Coalition government willing to push his pet scheme. However, given he hastily announced HS2 a couple of months before the last election was required to be called – an election he did not need to contest – perhaps he was afraid his plans for his folly would not see the light of day if HS2 Ltd did not rush the plans.”

Meanwhile HS2 Ltd has awarded four Land Referencing contracts to companies which will arrange access to land for ecological, environmental and engineering surveys, working closely with HS2 Ltd’s land and property team, environment specialists and engineers.

They will also prepare a schedule of all owners and occupiers of land affected by the scheme, known as a Book of Reference. This will form one of the hybrid bill documents that are due to be submitted to Parliament by the end of 2013.