There are plans to build a high speed rail link between Birmingham and London. This rail link would reduce travel time between the two cities to just 49 minutes. The government is looking to invest some £32.7 bn into the project which would help Britains struggling transport links.
The project has come under fire from many differernt groups, all of which have legitimate worries to the project. There are conservationists and nature lovers who believe that the HS2 will carve through areas of natural beauty. And there are others who believe that in this time of austerity that to spend this much money on transport is missing the needs of people of who require assistance through benefits, which have all been cut.
We wanted to look at the pros and cons of the proposed line to get a better understanding of the situation.
We will start with the pros for the route as their must be a reason for this line to be proposed. The main points that the HS2 site bring up are that the line will help resolve impending cacpacity issues for both passengers and freight on existing routes.
The first phase of the plan will connect Birmingham and London, two major commercial centres, the second phase will look to connect Manchester, Leeds and the North with Birmingham, the South and Heathrow Airport.
This will cut the journey time for travelling around Englands most popualted areas, it may help to boost the economy and will create thousands of jobs.
The HS2 team are working closely with local councils, communities and other stakeholders to identify the impact that a new line would have. So there is thought going into where and how the line is laid.
The overall question that we had at CYB was "do we really need a highspeed line?".
There are many points that are raised against the HS2 line with the three main points being :
The business case is based upon unrealistic assumptions
The environmental impact has not been fully assessed
The strateigic benefits are questionable
One of the main points that is being made for HS2 is that it will have a low impact on the surrounding environment and that it will be a way for reducing carbon emissions. This is all very well in theory but the fact is that the line will be cutting through the countryside damaging wildlife habitat and destroying natural beauty.
The overall benefit that the rail line will offer is questionable. The main benificiaries will be London and the South East of England, Birmingham may benefit slightly as might Manchester but for many of the regions surrounding the HS2 line they will lose out as people pass them by on the high speed rail link.
In many ways it is not broadening the view of people to travel and distribute benefits and jobs but more focus them into very specific areas.
We are not here to promote or condem the idea of HS2, we want to make people more aware of what the plan is and how it may affect the area that they live in. Their could well be jobs created and economic boosts given to areas. There may also be a lot of damage caused to the environment and the overall impact of the line may be negative.
The question that needs to be answered is do we need this line. What are the overall benefits? What are the negatives? Is this a case of Britian attempting to show the world that we can still cut it with the worlds most technologically advanced nations?
Time will tell how this proposal will play out. If it is done it will need to be done well, blending into the countryside rather than bulldozing through it. We put together a bundle of examples where modern creations have been blended with nature to create a balance and the main points surrounding the HS2 line.