HS2: The Key Issues
PUBLISHED: 15:05 16 March 2011 | UPDATED: 19:01 20 February 2013
Objectors are highlighting that the track would go through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
HS2 would bulldoze a track through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Wildlife Trust volunteers in the Chilterns are carrying out surveys on threatened species and habitats such as ancient woodland.
According to transport minister Philip Hammond, HS2 will allow the economies of the Midlands and the north to benefit much more directly from the economic engine of London. Steve Rodrick of the Chiltern Conservation Board, responds: The journey times between our major cities are already the shortest of any industrialised country. The good fortune of being a small compact country has provided our business community with fast links between cities. If we cant exploit that now, a saving of 20 minutes or so wont make any difference at all. Talk of it being transformational and ending the north south divide is political fantasy.
HS2 is already said to be affecting the value of properties near the route and owners ability to sell them. An Exceptional Hardship Scheme is available for those with a pressing need to sell, and consultation is promised for other homeowners affected.