Who is on the wrong lines ??

Justine Greening

"I welcome the comments of Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, who said the Government had been sensitive to the impact that HS2 would have on communities and the countryside; and that their legitimate concerns about the effects of high speed on the landscape had been heard."
The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP , speech for Transport Times Conference – January 26 2012

Although HS2 runs through 13 miles of the Chiltern’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty all but two miles of the line will be hidden below surface level. Environmentalists have welcomed the project.
Says Shaun Spiers of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, ‘We are pleased the Government has shown its commitment to Britain’s railways... "
RailStaff High Speed Rail News, 17th Jan 2012

Right Lines

The signatories to the Charter believe that: 

  • the process and particular proposals for High Speed Rail should comply with four principles
  • the Government’s High Speed Rail consultation and detailed High Speed 2 (HS2) proposals are unsound at present and fall well short of these principles.


Campaign for Better Transport

“the Government needs to guarantee that it won’t simply suck money out of our existing network. HS2 must link to improved and affordable services on existing lines rather than just offering a shiny and speedy way to get from London to Birmingham for those able to afford the price”

Campaign for the Protection of Rural England

“It appears that Ministers really have engaged with the consultation responses.  So we welcome the changes that have been announced, notably the further tunnelling in the Chilterns and alterations to the route to avoid important heritage sites.”

“But the Government deserves congratulation for showing commitment to the future of our railways and to addressing regional economic imbalances, rather than concentrating development in the south east.  We are particularly pleased that this appears to have been a genuine consultation and that legitimate concerns about the likely impact of HS2 on the landscape have been heard.” ( More .. )

The Chiltern Society

“Good transport systems in other countries are properly integrated and part of a long-term strategic plan covering all modes. Agreement is being sought for this, the largest ever UK infrastructure project, without any such plan or even a future aviation strategy”

“The HS2 proposal centres around an obsession with speed to the extent that it has ambitions to become the fastest line in the world, with the capability of running trains at 400kph. Pundits are not sure that in such a little country we need to be quite so aggressive in our ambitions, since time-savings only really mount up over long distances”

“The Government, even in these times of austerity, is asking the paying public to take a great leap of faith and place prestige ahead of practicality.”

The Environmental Law Society

“It is welcome that the Government has listened to concerns raised during the HS2 consultation and made changes to its proposals. However, local communities expressed considerable dissatisfaction with the consultation to us and it is to be hoped that the Government will provide communities with clear, transparent and effective opportunities to participate in the future stages of the HS2 process”.


Friends of the Earth

“The project will cost an estimated £32 billion. Friends of the Earth believes this money could be better used to significantly improve our public transport system.”

“High speed rail has a role to play in developing greener, faster transport, but these plans don't go far enough to cut emissions overall.”

Greenpeace UK

“it needs to be part of a wider transport strategy across the country. One train line between London and Birmingham isn't going to address the various transport issues we have”

“The case we made during the third runway campaign in favour of high-speed rail still stands, but now it's becoming a reality the details of the government's plan need to be assessed. At the moment, they're falling short of what's really needed.”


 "it's disappointing that the government cannot see the flaws in this route. We desperately need the capacity the new lines would bring, but equally we need to get it right."

The Ramblers Association

“The Ramblers cautiously welcomes this emphasis on the natural environment but remains exceptionally concerned that the future of the estimated 150 footpaths severed by the route has yet to be revealed. Britain’s Walking Charity supports improvements in green transport in principle but will carefully examine the detail of the project as it develops; engaging with government to ensure the interests of walkers and all those who enjoy the countryside are taken into account.”


“ but at first read promises of potential carbon savings fall short of genuine commitment and tweaks to the route are unlikely to still local concerns, though improvements have been made.”

“The former Government’s policy document on High Speed Rail (March 2010) significantly underestimated the impact of the proposed route on the natural environment.
• The current approach to assessing the least environmentally-damaging route is seriously flawed, and that the environmental case for the current proposals lacks clarity.
• The Appraisal of Sustainability seriously underestimates the environmental mitigation and compensation costs and opportunities”


“This is no 'green Government', says Woodland Trust over decision to destroy ancient woodland for HS2”
“ "The way the Government has dealt with its proposal for High Speed Two is extremely disappointing. The consultation lacked sufficient information to make it a credible process. Even now, the environmental impacts of the proposed route have not been properly assessed and there are no plans to assess them until late 2012.”