Report highlights objections to high speed rail scheme through Warwickshire

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A REPORT to Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet has highlighted its opposition to the Government’s high speed rail scheme in response to the public consultation.

The report highlights the arguments against HS2 and, if agreed by Cabinet on Thursday (July 14), it will form the county official response to the consultation which ends on July 29.

Last month the Overview and Scrutiny Committee discussed the report and councillors quizzed Martin Capstick, the Director responsible for HS2 at the Department for Transport, and HS2 Ltd Director of Communications Miranda Carter.

Cllr Bob Stevens, Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “The report being received by Cabinet highlights the many reasons why the county council is in opposition to the scheme.

“We have major concerns about the national benefits of the scheme and whether there is a case for HS2 being in the national interest. Locally, the county will gain very limited economic benefit and many people will be adversely affected by the scheme.

“The serious issues for Warwickshire to contend with include the lack of economic benefits and the significant environmental impact on our communities, the effect on emergency services, the severance of land and the impact on footpaths and rights of way and the road network. Combined with misgivings about the national business case, this makes the HS2 proposal unsustainable in our opinion.”

Fundamental to Warwickshire’s opposition to the £32 billion scheme is the lack of consideration being given to the alternatives to HS2 and that it offers poor value for money for the taxpayer, together with a flawed economic case.

The report adds that the county council agrees that Britain’s rail infrastructure needs improvement but is asking for more detailed consideration to be made of alternative options, including upgrading of the existing West Coast Main Line, before a decision is made on HS2.

The county council resolved last December to oppose the scheme. Warwickshire has been working with borough and district colleagues, members of the 51m group which represents the local authorities along the route, the action groups and HS2 Ltd to gather data and information about the scheme and its likely impact on the area.

For more information on the county council’s views and for a link to the report and supporting documentation visit

www.warwickshire.gov.uk/hs2