Artist's impression of an HS2 train via PAArtist's impression of an HS2 train via PA

News Round-Up

Sep 24: HS2 northern leg set for chop; Scottish EV charging target warning; Anti-Brexit march

  • Here are the headlines for Sunday, September 24

Time 6:29 am, September 24, 2023

Sunak set to cut off HS2’s northern leg as costs spiral – reports

Rishi Sunak appears poised to axe the HS2 rail line from Birmingham to Manchester – despite opposition from Tory predecessors, business chiefs and the Mayor of London.

The Sunday Telegraph reported the potential cost of the initial London-to-Birmingham stretch of the high-speed rail scheme – which chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said is ‘out of control’ – had increased by £8bn from the £45bn figure published in June 2022.

The Observer suggested the decision to kill off the Manchester leg of the scheme could come before the Tories host their conference in the city on October 1.

Scottish government could miss electric car-charging target by 12 years, say Tories

The Scottish government’s key climate target to install 30,000 electric car-charging stations could be missed by 12 years, analysis by the country’s Tories has suggested.

Scottish ministers have previously acknowledged that that number will be needed to meet the anticipated increase in demand for electric vehicle charging points.

But analysis from the Scottish Tories suggests the Scottish government is ‘miles off’ the target, with around 1,900 charging points installed between January 2022 and 2023. As such, the Tories say it could take until 2042 – 12 years after the charging point deadline – to reach 30,000. Full story here

Brexit branded ‘huge mistake’ as protesters march to rejoin EU

Protesters against the UK’s exit from the European Union have labelled the move ‘a huge mistake’ as they campaigned to rejoin the bloc.

A large crowd of pro-EU protesters gathered outside the Hilton hotel on Park Lane in west London for the National Rejoin March yesterday.

Hundreds of people dressed in blue clothing and carrying EU flags filled the pavement ahead of the march through the city’s streets, which was due to culminate with a rally at Parliament Square.

Miliband criticises PM as energy efficiency taskforce scrapped

The government’s energy efficiency taskforce has been axed after just nine months as Labour claimed Rishi Sunak ‘does not give a damn’ about climate change.

It emerged yesterday that the taskforce set up to speed up home insulation and boiler upgrades has been disbanded.

Shadow net zero secretary Ed Miliband said the move would leave households facing higher bills and warned the PM ‘doesn’t give a damn’ about tackling climate change.

Steve Coogan and Carol Vorderman back Lib Dem calls for electoral reform

Steve Coogan and Carol Vorderman have backed Liberal Democrat proposals for electoral reform, with the comedian revealing he plans to vote for the party again in the next general election.

Coogan supported calls to replace first past the post with proportional representation, saying ‘millions of people’s voices go unheard’.

Former Countdown presenter Vorderman has said the current system fails to deliver parliaments that ‘properly reflect the will of the nation’. Their messages were screened at a party rally in Bournemouth yesterday evening, where delegates are gathering for their conference.

PM reportedly considering inheritance tax cut

Rishi Sunak is reportedly considering a cut to inheritance tax as he seeks to woo voters ahead of the general election.

Downing Street sought to play down speculation in the Sunday Times that the PM was drawing up plans to slash the tax.

One proposal being considered is for Sunak to announce his intention to phase out the levy by reducing the 40 per cent inheritance tax rate in the Budget in March, while setting out a pathway to abolish it completely in future years, the newspaper said.

Campaigners stage mass trespass calling for more countryside access in England

Right-to-roam campaigners have staged a mass trespass near the England-Scotland border calling for the Westminster government to adopt the same land reform laws as the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish residents can legally wander over almost all land and inland waters provided they follow certain basic rules such as removing all their belongings – a practice known as leave no trace.

In England, right of free access covers just eight per cent of the country, excluding footpaths, and wild camping is illegal everywhere except a small area in Dartmoor, which was temporarily taken away earlier this year when a local landowner argued for its prohibition at the High Court.

Three injured after landslide in Sweden causes huge sinkhole on highway

Three people have been injured after a landslide in western Sweden caused a sinkhole to open on a major highway.

Police said at least four cars and a bus skidded off the road and crashed, leading three people to be admitted to hospital.

Photos and video showed a sinkhole 500 metres (1,640 feet) wide that had opened up on the E6 highway, which runs from southern Sweden to Norway, not far from Sweden’s second largest city of Gothenburg.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Weather outlook

Today will be cloudy and windy with outbreaks of rain, mainly affecting the north and west, some heavy and persistent during the afternoon, says BBC Weather. It’ll stay drier and brighter further to the south and east.

Overnight patchy rain will clear from the south-east tomorrow morning, with more blustery showers moving into northern and western areas, especially in Scotland. There’ll be plenty of sunshine elsewhere, although it’ll be windy.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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