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Campaigners bemoan HS2 bill

Campaigners bemoan HS2 bill

Efforts to build a second high-speed rail link in the UK have moved a step closer to fruition after the government made a case for the investment in a 50,000-page document.

The coalition claims that the move will help to improve transport links, boost the business community and provide thousands of jobs.

Critics of the idea, however, say that it will destroy large swathes of the countryside and, ultimately, not prove to be value for money.

And they have already claimed that the detail of the document allied to the eight-week consultation time limit means that they will struggle to deliver a proper response.

It has, in fact, been suggested that this is a deliberate ploy on behalf of the government as a means of pushing its plan through.

"We have recruited a new full time conservation expert whose sole priority over the coming weeks will be the dissection of these documents," commented Woodland Trust policy director Hilary Allison.

"The enormity of the task being asked of all who have something to contribute to this consultation is undeniable; given its immense length, we feel the timescale given to read and respond is unfair."

According to calculations made by the body, as many as 21 ancient woodlands will be destroyed or significantly damaged by the first phase of the ambitious engineering project.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, though, remains firm in his support for the project. "HS2 is the most ambitious and important infrastructure project in the UK since we built the M25 30 years ago, and in 30 more it will be just as integral a part of the nation's prosperity," he remarked.

As an alternative, commuters may wish to instead opt for the comfort of coach travel, which is a great way to get to and from the office, or to an event.

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