Sunday, 27 February 2011

Lighting the way against high speed rail

At 6pm tonight, thousands of beacons will be lit across the UK, in protest of the proposed high-speed trainline, linking London to Birmingham.

The event coincides with the government announcement to begin public consultation on the HS2 proposal. If successful, construction will begin in 2015, to build a new line that will cut the journey time between London and Birmingham by half an hour.

Supporters believe that the railway could give the UK economy a £44bn boost, while protesters say it will be a waste of money with costs that far out-way the benefits.

The controversial project plans to run through areas of quaint English countryside, idyllic villages and renowned landmarks. Despite ploughing straight through their backyards, the communities of areas such as Amersham and Great Missenden (Roald Dahl's home-ground and the setting for many of his most famous children's stories) would receive no benefit from the new line, which will run non-stop at over 250 miles an hour.

Groups such as Stop HS2 and Stop The Route have drawn significant support, whereas support from the general public has so far been limited.

Thirty communities along the proposed route, from Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire will continue their protests by burning beacons tonight, including one in David Cameron's constituency of Witney, Oxfordshire. To find out more about the event, click here

Read more about the HS2 route at these links:
- BBC News: Government starts highspeed rail consultation
- Stop HS2 press releases
- Yes to HS2

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This blog was also posted on Responsible Travel News

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