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.

Route and improved journey times of HS2

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