In six years’ time, work will start on the HS2 high-speed rail network. It’s set to boost journey times between London, the midlands and the north, but do you actually want it?
Almost half of us support plans to build the High Speed 2 (HS2) railway network, or so says a poll by TNS-BMRB. Only 9% of those questioned opposed it, although 44% were still left undecided.
Are you also ambivalent about the £32 billion project? Or are you firmly standing on one side of the fence?
The link will run at 250mph between London and cities like Birmingham and Manchester – slashing travel times for the former journey by 36 minutes, and 47 minutes for the latter.
Plans get a mixed reception
The ultra-fast line does have its critics, with many saying it’ll destroy acres of Britain’s most beautiful countryside and demolish homes. But supporters cite the creation of jobs and monetary benefits that stretch into the billions.
A full public consultation on whether the line will go ahead is due very soon, but if it gets a ‘thumbs up’, we’ll get an announcement later this year. Transport secretary Philip Hammond champions the high-speed network and hopes the above survey will win over its doubters:
‘This poll shows that, across Britain, five times as many people support our planned High Speed Rail network as oppose it.
‘Of course we will do everything we can to mitigate the impacts on areas like the Chilterns but projects like this have to be decided on the basis of the national interest and the overall net benefits it will bring to Britain.’
If that sounds like a big fudge to you, you’re definitely not alone. Many others oppose the network, proving it’s not going to be easy to get everyone on board the high-speed hype train.
The pressure group ‘Stop HS2‘ has been set up, with its head, Lizzy Williams, arguing that the project is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money, ‘This is a railway for the rich, yet all of us are expected to pay for it and carry all of the financial risk.’
A council in Buckinghamshire has even joined the disapproving chorus, pledging 100k to fight the network. So are you on board with the high-speed rail network? Or will you throw yourself on to the line in opposition?