Latest Rail News

02.08.13

Buckinghamshire pulls out of HS2 legal battle

Buckinghamshire County Council will not be taking its case to the Supreme Court to challenge HS2, leaders have announced.

The council was one of several which brought legal action against the Government in the Court of Appeal. The court ruled that it was lawful for the Government to choose to rule out upgrading the existing network as a credible alternative, and ruled that the consultations and environmental and equalities assessments were all carried out lawfully.

Bucks County Council is giving £10,000 to HS2 Action Alliance, which will appeal, to support its case on the need for a strategic environmental assessment.

Martin Tett, Bucks County Council leader and chairman of the 51m alliance of local authorities opposed to HS2, said: “We are determined that our contention that a strategic environmental assessment should have been carried out is heard in the Supreme Court.

“At the county council, we have decided that the most effective and most cost efficient way of doing this is by supporting the continuation of the HS2 Action Alliance case in the Supreme Court.

“Now that we are down to just this single, most important ground, it doesn’t make sense for us both to meet legal costs. HS2AA have led on the SEA and it makes complete sense for them to take it to the Supreme Court.

“We are also conscious that we are using taxpayers’ money and we are duty bound to use it wisely. We will therefore be making a £10,000 contribution towards HS2AA’s legal fund rather than commissioning our own legal team.

“This is because we believe that, were the appeal to succeed, there would be a clear and direct benefit to Buckinghamshire and its residents and on this basis it is proportionate to make a contribution to the HS2AA legal fund appeal.”

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

Image c. HS2 Ltd

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