High-speed rail route to be announced

The preferred route for the costly and controversial HS2 high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham is expected to be announced tomorrow by the Government.

Running from central London through Tory heartlands to the West Midlands, the multibillion-pound line, with its 250mph trains, is opposed by a number of Conservative MPs.



Residents' groups and local councils are also vehemently against the line which will pass through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.



Due to be started in 2015, the line lies at the centre of the Government's transport policy, particularly as it has ruled out new runways in south east England airports.



The line was first announced earlier this year by the then Transport Secretary Lord Adonis following an exhaustive feasibility study. Labour also announced plans for a Y-shaped network of high-speed lines which could later extend the fast trains north of Birmingham to northern England and Scotland.



The coalition Government, which also favours the Y-shaped approach north of Birmingham, has been reviewing the London to Birmingham route which could cost as much as £17 billion, with the entire scheme being about £30 billion.



London to Birmingham journey times could come down to between 30 and 50 minutes, with the Government convinced that the line will give the economy an enormous, and environmentally-friendly, boost.



If the Government sticks to the Adonis plan, the line would run in a tunnel from a rebuilt Euston station in London, surfacing in west London.



It would then follow the route of the existing Chiltern Line, passing close to Ruislip in west London and then proceed largely in tunnel from the M25 as far as Amersham in Buckinghamshire.



It would then continue to the west of Wendover and Aylesbury, partly in tunnel and partly following the existing A413 road and Chiltern Line corridor.



The next section of the route would make use of the largely-preserved track-bed of the former Great Central Railway before continuing north west through Warwickshire to enter Birmingham close to Water Orton.



The line would terminate at a new city centre station built at Curzon/Fazeley Street in Birmingham's Eastside regeneration area, with the main line extending north to join the West Coast line near Lichfield.



One of those concerned about the line is Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan who is Chesham and Amersham MP. Another Conservative MP anxious about HS2 is Chris White (Warwick and Leamington).



Earlier this month leaders of 18 local authorities met Transport Secretary Philip Hammond to discuss the plans. Chiltern District Council leader Nick Ross said all the leaders were "totally opposed" to HS2.



Bruce Weston, a director of the HS2 Action Alliance, which represents more than 60 groups opposing the new line, said today: "The business case for HS2 just doesn't stack up.



"You would expect local councils who do not have a station on the route to be opposed. But this is not about the route, this is about the fact that it's going to be a waste of money."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police