Increased Use of Tunnelling For HS2 Hasn't Satisfied Opponents

The government has confirmed plans to push ahead with the high speed rail link which will cut journey times between Birmingham and London, and later Leeds and Manchester significantly.

The DfT consulted 52,000 people on the £32 billion plans announced today but some are unhappy. To mitigate against loss of homes and damage to the countryside the length of tunnelled sections of the line have been increased. However this hasn't been enough to satisfy some groups such as Green Peace, The Countryside Alliance and many constituencies that the route will pass through.

Sarah Lee of the Countryside Alliance said '“The Countryside Alliance remains gravely concerned that no significant evaluation of the impact of High Speed Rail 2 on the countryside, its communities and wildlife has been properly undertaken or acknowledged. While we welcome some of the concessions that have been made by the Government - including noise reduction measures and longer tunnels - we are dubious as to whether this will make any overall difference to the environmental impact of the rail line, which will still consume huge amounts of energy and damage many important sites for wildlife."

Tory minister Cheryl Gillan who threatened to resign earlier this year over HS2 seems to be placated by the extra tunnels that will take the route beneath parts of her Chesham and Amersham constituency saying "I welcome the further steps that have been taken to mitigate the impact."

If groups such as The Countryside Alliance or local campaigning groups against HS2 were to push for a legal review of the line it could see it being severely delayed if not stopped.

The RMT supports new railway links which we say should be built, run and owned by the public sector.

This story is from an article submitted by an RMT member - Got a story for us?