HS2 is a plan to link London and Heathrow Airport to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds via a high speed rail line with trains running at up to 400kph (250mph). The service will cut journey times, but also increase capacity.
People supporting the project claim:
- exisiting routes will be freed up for regional. commuter and freight services.
- every £1 spent will be rewarded with £2.30 of benefits to the economy
- Eight out of ten of the biggest cities will be connected with over 30 million people living close to one of the 25 stations.
- HS2 will create 25,000 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships
- HS2 will improve the environment and enhance habitats creating a green corridor.
- Better connected cities will lead to faster economic growth.
Opponents of the scheme claim
- Infrastructure supporting the line will be built on 250 acres of green belt land. Sites of special scientific interest will be sliced through by the line.
- Homeowners will have a reduced market value of their property, plus 10% (up to £47,000) and moving costs
- Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) has suggested the cost could rise to £80bn
- Across the entire line more than 600 homes will be bulldozed and another 340 homes will be cut off from their wider neighbourhood
- Historic houses in Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire will be demolished or blighted by the new line
- The demolition of homes and damage to rural England is too costly and disruptive