AN EXTRA £43billion should be spent on infrastructure to ‘make the most’ of HS2, the government has been urged.
Sir John Armitt, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, said the sum — more than the original estimated cost of the rail line — was needed to prevent ‘inadequate transport links’ for users of the service.
The HS2 project will see 330 miles of track linking London and the West Midlands, Manchester and Leeds.
Sir John (pictured above), writing in the Sunday Telegraph, said HS2 was the most significant investment in our ‘transport networks for a generation or more’.
‘The potential impact could extend 100 years or more, and upfront costs should be considered in that context,’ he added. ‘This means we cannot simply construct a new high speed rail line and leave it at that: to get the biggest bang for our buck we need to think about the whole journey.’
He said spending more on infrastructure was not an ‘unaffordable pipe dream’, but the best way to ‘make the most of all that HS2 will have to offer’.
Last week it emerged £4.1billion had been spent before construction work has begun. In his article, Sir John defended the costs and said cities outside London need ‘a boost in funding’ to improve transport links.
Concerns are mounting, with one report suggesting the project could exceed £80billion — meaning costs could overrun by 60 per cent. Responding to ministerial criticism that bosses were not open with residents about their plans, HS2 said it was ‘work[ing] hard’ to ensure concerns ‘are understood and impacts minimised’.
Love Island puts shine on cosmetic sales
GLITTER make-up sales are sparkling thanks to TV’s Love Island and summer festivals.
Demand for glitter cosmetics is up 321 per cent with more than £300,000 sales of glistening eyeliner, mascara and other products last month, say retail analysts IRI.
Viewers are ‘rushing out to copy the sparkly antics of Love Island’s Georgia, Megan and Samira’ ‘with no body part untouched’, said Kaajal Bhatti of IRI. And she expects this to continue during the festival season.
Although glitter is made of micro plastic, one brand already has a biodegradable version. ‘We expect more to follow suit,’ said Ms Bhatti.
Work pressure leads to loneliness for staff
SIX out of ten office workers say they feel lonely at work. A quarter of those who do feel lonely quit their jobs because of it, research reveals. Nearly half (44 per cent) said work pressure led to their feeling of isolation. One in four men and one in five women said they never confide in anyone. The study, for totaljobs in association with Mind, spoke to almost 6,000 workers. Two in three said their company doesn’t do enough to combat the problem. Loneliness led to workers taking an average of five sick days every year.
■ TWO thirds of people think the price of a pint is too high. Research for Camra said just one in four of more than 2,000 drinkers polled said the price is right. Camra says taxes — including beer duty, business rates and VAT — make up a third of the price of a pint. It says drinkers are being lured away from pubs by cheaper drink in off-licences and supermarkets, putting more pubs at risk.
■ WIZZ AIR has the worst punctuality record of the 44 busiest airlines flying from the UK airports, a study found. The Hungarian carrier’s departures were an average 23 minutes late last year, Civil Aviation Authority data shows. Scandinavian Airlines is the most punctual, with aircraft typically seven minutes behind schedule.
■ HOUSEHOLDS are overpaying £4billion a year for energy, new research found. Around 12million families on standard variable tariffs with the Big Six suppliers overpay by an average of £350, according to analysis by energy firm Bulb. The government is introducing a price cap to protect consumers on the most expensive tariffs.