HS2 decision slammed by conservation group

High Speed train in Kent
High Speed train in Kent

A CAMPAIGNING conservation group from Chinnor has slammed the government’s decision to give the go ahead to a controversial high speed rail line.

Earlier this week Transport Secretary Justine Greening gave the green light to the £32 billion HS2 line despite huge opposition from councillors and campaigning groups.

The Chilterns Conservation Board, based in Chinnor, has condemned that decision.

Chairman Mike Fox said: “We are appalled that the government has committed to destroying nationally-important countryside when it has a legal duty to protect it.

“It has also blatantly ignored the results of the public consultation which showed massive public opposition to HS2 and ignored the recommendations of the transport select committee.

“The public rightly do not want £32 billion of their money spent on a project which still has no solid business case.”

The outcome of the public consultation is supported by a recent YouGov poll in which two-thirds of the public were opposed to money being spent on the line.

The route selected by the government runs through the heart of the Chilterns Area Of Natural Beauty. The updated plans outlined by Ms Greening in the House of Commons feature a number of additional.

Steve Rodrick, chief officer at the conservation board said: “The extra tunnel announced will make no difference to the impact of HS2.

“There will still be 9km of the line running above ground in the Chilterns creating great visual blight and noise pollution.”

Mr Fox added: “The tragedy is that it is very likely we will end up with a hugely-expensive and under-used white elephant travelling through treasured countryside which has been destroyed forever.

“The Chilterns Conservation Board will fight on to protect the beautiful countryside in our care.”

For more information visit www.chilternsaonb.org.

> Got a view on HS2? Let us know. Email nicholas.moore@jpress.co.uk