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HS2 (staff) won’t go to Birmingham

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Outside Two Snowhill (Beleben archive)

Many senior HS2 staff have refused to relocate from London as the project shifts [construction] headquarters to Birmingham, wrote Mark Leftly.

[HS2 in danger of coming off the rails as problems multiply, Mark Leftly, The Independent on Sunday, 6 Mar 2016]

The Independent on Sunday can reveal that HS2, which will take commuters from London to Birmingham in 49 minutes when the first phase opens in 2026, before heading north to Leeds and Manchester, is suffering because:

• HS2 executives have been “spooked” by an unexpectedly early National Audit Office (NAO) probe.

• There are fears the 1,300-person project team, HS2 Ltd, isn’t ready to oversee such a massive project, as a long delayed Cabinet Office review begins.

• Many senior staff have refused to relocate from London as the project shifts headquarters to Birmingham – and many staying put will commute on the very line HS2 is supposed to relieve of congestion.

• Ministers believe the project will become bogged down in the House of Lords when the HS2 bill reaches the upper house.

• The appointment of the private sector partner to run the project has been delayed twice in the past few weeks.

The Cabinet Office’s Review Point One should have started last autumn, but was delayed because of fears HS2 Ltd could fail crucial tests. The four-person review will begin later this month.

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Written by beleben

March 6, 2016 at 12:19 pm

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