The legal battle against the new London to Birmingham high speed rail link has made its way to the High Court, with opponents stating that the consultation process was legally flawed.
The new rail link, HS2, has seen fierce opposition from many residents and environmental activists in the South as the new line is due to go right through much of the well loved English countryside including the Chilterns. The political challenge has increased and now a group of 15 local counsellors headed the legal challenge beginning on Monday. They argue that the government did not properly consider the environmental impact of the development.
At this point experts believe that it is difficult to assess what the second phase of the project would bring, where the line is further extended from Birmingham up to Manchester and Leeds. What has further angered the public is that the consultation period closed in July 2011, given residents in these areas little time to oppose formally. 172,000 homes are likely to be effected by the new line in the first phase and numbers are likely to the same in the second stage although at this point there is not much information to make a prediction.
In addition to the environmental impact, counsellors and other activists stated to the court that the government has not fully considered the capacity of the general Transport for London network, and while it is predicted that passenger numbers on the HS2 will reach 57,000 by 2033, over double from figures in 2009, nothing has been done to increase the London network to support all these people travelling to the capital.
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Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with environmental Solicitors in Birmingham and across the country.