Feb 24 2011 By Jack Abell
High Speed Rail
THIRTEEN county and district councils have joined forces to fight the High Speed Rail project, and have started a national campaign.
Chiltern District, South Bucks District and Buckinghamshire County Councils have teamed up with 10 other local authorities from the South and Midlands who will see their areas affected by the controversial High Speed 2 project.
The government is expected to announce the start of the consultation on the scheme on February 28.
All the councils who have joined together released a statement saying: "The authorities along the route have come together to oppose the proposals for High Speed Rail as they are currently proposed. We do not believe that the business case stacks up and therefore cannot support the route suggested by Government and are actively working on a plan to strongly object to the proposals.
"We are opposed to the current High Speed rail proposals as they are presently outlined and do not believe that they are in the best interests of the UK as a whole in terms of the benefits claimed in the business case.
"We are not opposed to the need for higher speed rail per se and fully acknowledge the need for strategic improvement to the national rail infrastructure but cannot agree with the current proposals as the economic and environmental benefits are not at all credible.
"We do not believe that all the other alternatives to achieve the transport capacity, regeneration and environmental benefits have been fully explored by the Government and with in excess of £30 billion proposed to be invested, we owe it to the nation to ensure these are fully explored."
The other councils involved are: Aylesbury Vale, Wycombe District, London Borough of Hillingdon, Cherwell District, Lichfield District, South Northants District, Warwick District, North Warwickshire Borough, Warwickshire County and Stratford-on-Avon District.