"Penalty clauses" as such are illegal. There are things called liquidated damages which can be applied. However, if attributing blame is difficult then the only beneficiaries are lawyers, with huge amounts of management time spent on arguments rather than on completion of the job.
A massive amount could be done by surveying the existing pedestrian and cycle travel networks in our towns and villages. In most cases huge improvements are possible without huge investment. The will must be there to keep making incremental improvements, and not to stop when when some meagre funding source expires. There are plenty of roads without footways, or with gaps in the footways that can remedied at low cost. There are plenty of quiet streets that can be connected together sensibly to make safe cycle routes.
Comment on: New station approved for East Midlands line
For those who wonder. It's on the Durham coast line between Hartlepool and Sunderland.
Comment on: Hydrogen trains lined up for 2021 start in UK
My understanding is that the most often used technology for producing hydrogen involves steam reform of methane. Methane is a fossil fuel, but that shouldn't be confused with the production of greenhouse gases. However, I'm told that CO2 is a byproduct of the process and steam production obviously requires an energy input from somewhere.
While the carbon footprint might possibly be reduced, the main purpose of using fuel cells here is to reduce the sort of health-threatening emissions that are commonplace with diesel units. I personally have had a dreadful experience at Birmingham New Street, waiting for a delayed local train while a diesel unit on the opposite track belched out fumes over several hundred passengers. Not that we are likely to see these trains at Birmingham, as they seem to be aimed at northern routes.
It's really not true to say that it's the first time the old Eurostar platforms have been used since 2007. I caught trains from them in the summer of 2016. The question is why did it take so long? Given that time is money, the amazingly relaxed schedule for the rebuild must have cost Network Rail at least a few £millions more than necessary.