High Speed 2
The Government is proposing to build a new high speed rail line from London to Birmingham and further north which will cut through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Read the latest news below on the proposals and the opposition to them. You can also see detailed maps of the route through the Chilterns showing the impact it will have on protected landscapes, wildlife sites, historic features and rights of way.
16 May 2013
11 April 2013
08 March 2013
06 March 2013
25 February 2013
Local authorities, action groups and the Conservation Board will discuss the latest issues at a meeting in Aylesbury
25 February 2013
Round 4 of HS2 Ltd's Community Forums are taking place at the moment
29 January 2013
The straight route alignment deemed essential for Phase 1 of HS2 seems less important for Phase 2
22 January 2013
The enormous impact of HS2 along the whole of its London to Birmingham route is highlighted in a new DVD
03 January 2013
There are some key activities taking place this year
17 December 2012
The High Court has now heard all five legal challenges to the Government's proposals for High Speed 2.
30 November 2012
Five cases against the Government's plans for High Speed 2 are being heard in the High Court, starting on Monday 3rd December and concluding on Tuesday 11th December.
17 October 2012
The West Coast Main Line franchise fiasco highlights the clear need for an independent review of the case for HS2, says the HS2 Action Alliance
05 September 2012
Patrick McLoughlin takes over from Justine Greening as Secretary of State for Transport
30 July 2012
The High Court has granted opponents of HS2 the right to seek judicial review of the Government's proposals
16 July 2012
£9bn rail investment package further weakens business case for HS2
03 July 2012
30 May 2012
29 May 2012
02 May 2012
25 April 2012
17 April 2012
The recent damning report on passenger numbers and costs for High Speed 1 is another nail in the coffin for HS2
03 April 2012
28 March 2012
22 March 2012
06 March 2012
01 March 2012
The Stop HS2 campaign have produced a striking new poster available to download here.
22 February 2012
14 February 2012
A letter warning of a potential legal challenge has been sent by the HS2 Action Alliance to the DfT
03 February 2012
27 January 2012
17 January 2012
10 January 2012
The Chilterns Conservation Board today condemned the Government’s decision to proceed to the next stage of building a high speed rail line which will plough through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
09 January 2012
20 December 2011
05 December 2011
If the High Speed Two rail line goes ahead the Chilterns AONB will be badly damaged, despite new Govt proposals to increase the length of tunnel under the AONB.
08 November 2011
Today's report from the Transport Select Committee contains many reservations about the Government's proposals for a high speed rail network.
10 October 2011
Impact on natural & historic environment
22 August 2011
Detailed descriptions of the impact of HS2 on the natural and historic environment of the Chilterns are now available - see the profile descriptions for map 1-5.
Ramblers Association map
08 June 2011
The Ramblers' Association have created a map showing all the rights of way along the HS2 route which will be affected if it goes ahead.
25 May 2011
13 local authorities including county and district authorities in Bucks have joined together to campaign against HS2 under the name 51m
Detailed maps published
17 May 2011
Detailed maps showing the impact of HS2 on the natural environment, historic features and rights of way network between Chalfont St Giles and Wendover, plus panorama photos along the route, are now available.
12 May 2011
Read the Conservation Board's new factsheet on the impact of HS2 on the Chilterns
The case against HS2
09 May 2011
Read a summary of the case against HS2 as presented by Steve Rodrick at the Great Missenden Rally on 8 May
Taxpayers Alliance report
04 February 2011
Tunnelling impact outlined
29 November 2010
The impacts of tunnnelling through the chalk geology of the Misbourne Valley are outlined in a report by Dr Haydon Bailey for the Chiltern Society. The impacts could include pollution of underground water from which domestic supplies are taken and a total loss of surface flow in the River Misbourne.
27 October 2010
Keith Hoffmeister of the Chiltern Society Photo Group has produced an excellent slideshow which shows in detail the countryside that will be damaged if HS2's Route 3 through the Misbourne Valley is built.
On March 11th 2010 plans were announced by the Government to build a new high speed rail line between London and Birmingham that will pass through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The aim is that the line, known as High Speed 2, will ultimately extend to northern England.
Routes through Chilterns
The Government's preferred route for the line as it passes through the Chilterns is via the Misbourne Valley, in a tunnel past Chalfont St Giles and Amersham and then mostly overground to Wendover. Construction of the route if it gets the go-ahead will start in 2017 and take nine years, at a cost of £33 billion.
Conservation Board response
The Chilterns Conservation Board believes that the net benefits of the new line, both environmental and economic, have not been proven and therefore there is not a strong enough case to justify causing irreversible damage to the Chilterns AONB. It is opposed to the line coming through any part of the Chilterns.
The Chilterns is protected as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, part of the same family as National Parks - its countryside is nationally important. It is not an appropriate place for any major development. Even if High Speed 2 is considered to be in the national interest that case has yet to be proven and accepted as beyond doubt. In the Board's view there are realistic alternatives to achieving the same environmental and economic gains.
National planning law states that major development within an AONB can only be considered if it is clearly in the national interest and cannot go anywhere else. The Conservation Board does not believe that High Speed 2 meets either of these tests.
What you can do if you are opposed to the line being built through the Chilterns:
- Write to your MP
- Write to Patrick McCloughlin, Secretary of State at the Department for Transport
- Join the Facebook group Save the Chilterns - say no to a high speed rail link
A YouTube clip of a German high speed train entering a tunnel at 186 mph and the associated noise:
A YouTube clip of a German high speed train exiting a tunnel at 160 mph:
The HS1 line in Kent
Other HS2-related websites
- The Chiltern Society
- Email your MP about HS2
- High Speed 2 Ltd
- Chiltern Countryside Group
- e-petition against HS2 'paving bill'
- HS2 Action Alliance
- Stop HS2
- Berks Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust
- 51m - local authorities against HS2
- South Heath Against HS2
- CPRE Rail issues page
- Photos of Misbourne Valley and High Speed 1 in Kent