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The new drive means a total of 50 UTCs have now been approved

'Captain Invisible' replaced: Sir David Higgins named as new HS2 chief

Current chairman Doug Oakervee will leave at the end of the year after enduring a dreadful summer in which it has been claimed that the project could end up costing £80bn

Business week in review

In profit...

Anger over £1m pay for Network Rail's new boss

Network Rail has returned to the "bad old days" of inflated salaries and bonuses, according to industry sources shocked by the £1m-plus pay package of the state-backed group's new chief executive.

The argument for the costly project is that the West Coast main line is full; when it was built, it too was extremely unpopular

Inside Whitehall: The British first complain about big infrastructure projects, then come to revere them. HS2 will be no different

Yes, the new railway will go faster; but the reason to build it is not just speed – it is capacity

Outside threat to Network Rail veteran's tilt at the crown

'Strong' car-industry candidate casts doubt over Simon Kirby's bid to replace Sir David Higgins as chief executive

Network Rail misses targets on savings

Network Rail has admitted that it will miss key cost savings targets on its £4bn track-replacement programme in the body's current five-year plan.

London to Stansted Airport trains halted on busy holiday getaway day

'Overhead wire problems' cited for closure

Network Rail bosses defend lucrative bonus plan

Network Rail bosses have defended lucrative additional bonus pay for executive directors ahead of a key vote.

Network Rail has challenged claims by the Director General of the CBI, John Cridland

CBI Criticism: Network Rail speaks out to defend itself

Rail bosses challenge claims over HS2 budget

Network Rail is already forecast to have delivered efficiencies of 40 per cent in running the railways from 2004 and 2014 and ORR said it expected to see a further 20 per cent from 2014 to 2019

Network Rail facing funding crisis as debts spiral out of control

Report from regulator tells Government to consider privatisation or risk unsustainable borrowing affecting safety and ticket prices

Balfour Beatty to cut 200 jobs as it shuts sites

Balfour Beatty is to close three of its regional construction businesses with the loss of up to 200 jobs. The largest closure is at Dartford, Kent, where 90 jobs will go. The other sites are at Rochdale, in Lancashire and Doncaster in Yorkshire.

Contracts at stake for rail contractors on safety issues

Network Rail, the heavily-indebted body that runs Britain's tracks and most prominent train stations, has warned that even their best contractors face suspension if safety records do not get better.

Mark Leftly: Network Rail challenge is like running a marathon but there's no gold medal

Outlook Sir David Higgins must think that the Olympics was a doddle. Having overseen the construction of London 2012 well under the (admittedly revised) budget of £9.3bn, the Aussie businessman decided to take charge of an organisation that really has earned a poor reputation over the years, Network Rail.

Network Rail debt burden tops £30bn as profits hit buffers

Network Rail today admitted its debt mountain soared past £30 billion and its post-tax profit dropped 8 per cent in the past year, just days after it handed five directors bonuses worth more than £350,000.

Ed Balls arrives at the Thomson Reuters headquarters to give his speech

Ed Balls sets out election battle lines with promise to spend billions on housebuilding and road and rail projects

Labour would stick within the Coalition’s limits on day-to-day spending if it wins power in 2015 but would plough billions of pounds more into housebuilding and road and rail projects.

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own