Warwickshire County Council reaction after high-speed rail given the go ahead

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HIGH-SPEED rail will have a devastating impact on the countryside, according to Warwickshire County Council.

Earlier today plans for a high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham were given the go ahead.

Following the announcement, Cllr Bob Stevens, deputy leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “We are disappointed that the Transport Secretary has decided to go ahead with the HS2 scheme. It will have a devastating impact on the countryside and it will have little benefit for us. The county council remains committed to protecting Warwickshire’s heritage, environment and communities.

“We based our strong opposition to the scheme on the fact that it presents a flawed business case and offers poor value for money to the taxpayer. It is an expensive project which we believe will have only a very limited impact on the regional economy and certainly nowhere near as substantial as estimated in some quarters. There will also be unquantifiable hidden costs to the local authority.

“Now that HS2 is to proceed, we must ensure that the interests of Warwickshire residents are best served. In the immediate future, we will continue to work with the 51M Group to put forward the county’s case against this scheme.”

Cllr Alan Cockburn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Communities, added: ““It is too early to examine the detailed impact of the line on us but the county council will continue to work on behalf of the residents of Warwickshire. The county council’s project team has full council support to engage with the necessary authorities and work to protect Warwickshire’s interests and integrity in light of the decision to proceed.

“We should pay tribute to the various action groups who have carefully and intelligently researched the proposals, articulated their objections and backed up their assertions with evidence.”

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