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High Speed 2 'white elephant' will blight Chilterns

PUBLISHED: 11:41 24 December 2010 | UPDATED: 18:20 20 February 2013

The Chilterns Conservation Board has criticsied the Government's plans for a high speed rail line that will pass through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Chilterns Conservation Board is strongly critical of the Governments plans for a high speed rail line that will pass through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


'There is simply no case for High Speed 2, especially through a nationally-protected landscape loved by millions,' says Steve Rodrick, Chief Officer of the Conservation Board.


'Our opposition is based on solid facts. The Government claims it will be a green form of transport but the report produced by HS2 Ltd indicates it will be carbon neutral at best, it will not reduce national carbon emissions. And who will use it? Our personal demand to travel has been static since 1995. High Speed 2 is looking more and more like a white elephant.'


The high speed rail route will bulldoze through fields, woods and properties in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


Hedgerows, woodlands and ancient country lanes will be destroyed and tunnelling through the chalk aquifer may have serious implications for local rivers like the River Misbourne.


The visual impact of the line, with its overhead gantries, security fencing, cuttings, embankments and maintenance depots will be a severe blot on the Chilterns countryside. And its rural tranquillity will be ruined by the noise of up to 28 trains an hour travelling at 250mph.


Mike Fox, Chairman of the Chilterns Conservation Board, says, 'This is not just about protecting one of the finest areas of countryside in the UK. No clear case has been put forward yet that High Speed 2 will benefit the country. Even the political consensus on it has vanished now that Labour is questioning the economic case for the line. It would be far better to spend money on the existing rail network, improving services which are actually needed and wanted,' said Mike Fox, Chairman of the Chilterns Conservation Board.'


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