Latest Rail News

04.04.12

HS2 legal challenge launched

A legal challenge has been launched against HS2 as campaigners HS2 Action Alliance confirm they are seeking two judicial reviews into the Government’s handling of the plans.

HS2 Action Alliance claim that the Government has failed to carry out environmental assessments and did not consult properly over compensation.

HS2’s first phase was approved in January, with the first phase fromLondontoBirminghamexpected to be operational by 2025. The Government now has 21 days to respond before a judge decides if the challenges are allowed.

The campaigners suggest that a full strategic assessment of the project’s impact on the environment should have been conducted ahead of consultation. The other action will contend that “inadequate information was provided in the consultation, preventing the public from being able to give a meaningful response”.

In a statement, the group asserted: “The decision was without proper justification, ignored their own criteria and relied on new undisclosed material. We have two strong legal teams who are specialists in their fields and believe we have two powerful cases that the Government must now answer.”

A DfT spokesperson said: “We believe we have struck the right balance between the reasonable concerns of people living on or near the line – who will be offered a package of compensation measures – the environment and the need to keep Britain moving.”

Last week the 51m group, consisting of 15 local authorities, challenged the project on a range of grounds including the Government’s failure to consult properly on both the original route and the revised version.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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