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High Speed rail link between London – Birmingham close to approval

  Sunday 8th January 2012

A national rail report into the options for linking Britain’s two largest cities has confirmed the government is likely to push ahead with the £32 billion HS2 scheme.

This comes after the report proved the alternatives to the new network not to be convenient: upgrading the current rail systems between the cities, will not have the same benefits to commuters and will not resolve overcrowding.

Many are opposing the HS2 plans, as the new rail would cut through the Chiltern Hills, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty.

 High speed rail links, like the one recently completed in Taiwan, have proved hugely popular and a boost to economies worldwide.

High speed rail links, like the one recently completed in Taiwan, have proved hugely popular and a boost to economies worldwide. Photo: Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation

Some Tory MPs, many of whom have constituencies that will be directly affected by the new rail, are strongly opposing their own party on the matter.

The final decision on whether to go ahead with the scheme, which will cut journey time between the cities to a slender 49 minutes, is expected to be taken next week.

However works on the network, should they go ahead, will not begin until after 2016.

Adam Marshall of the British Chamber of Commerce said: “Britain has practised ‘mend-and-make’ on the railways for years.  A high-speed rail link is absolutely necessary for business and for growth, it is the best option.”

Lucy James, from the Campaign for HS2, said: “This report is just the latest piece of evidence to show that HS2 is the only game in town when it comes to solving the capacity crisis on Britain’s railways.”

The public opinion is still divided. Many believe if the government fails to build the network, the economy will suffer, whilst others remain adamant that to spend £32 billion on such an environment-threatening project, would be a misuse of funds.

Eleanor Hooper

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