February 24, 2014.



60-second submission webtool available here: www.hs2aa.org/es-2014.

Affects people living on the route between London and Birmingham.


Homeowners living near the Phase 1 route of the proposed HS2 high speed rail line between London and Birmingham have only days to make their views known to Government before an environmental consultation closes on February 27, 2014.


“This is the last opportunity for people to have their say on the environmental impacts of HS2 before Parliament starts to consider the project after Easter,” said Richard Houghton of HS2 Action Alliance, the national HS2 opposition group.


“There is potentially nine years of construction, including road closures and diversions, and thousands of movements of equipment, trucks and excavators as they move 128 million tonnes of spoil – enough to fill 862 Albert Halls – on the way to destroying ancient woodland and important habitats for a vast array of wildlife.


“The amounts of mud in winter and dust in summer will be enormous, and the noise impact for people living near the route will be greater than those laid down in World Health Organisation guidelines.


“We’re conscious that people are busy, and that responding to the consultation may look to be a big time commitment, but HS2 Action Alliance has produced a web tool at www.hs2aa.org/es-2014 which will enable people to submit a response in less than a minute.”


The consultation has come about because the Government published a 50,000 page Environmental Statement, which set out in detail the environmental impacts of building and operation Phase 1 of HS2. This document set out in detail just how bad the impact HS2 will be on communities along the line, including:


  • 9 years of construction disruption, including road closures, with thousands of lorry movements across London, Birmingham and points in between.
  • Noise impacts for people living near the line greater than World Health Organisation guidelines
  • The excavation of 128 million tonnes of spoil –a figure that equates to 34 Pyramids of Cheops (based on its volume of 2.5Mm3), 34,000 Olympic sized swimming pools(based on a volume of 2,500m3)  of material or 862 Albert halls (based on its volume of 99,000m3
  • Destruction of 32 hectares of ancient woodland from 19 different sites, 4,800 hectares of farmland and 250 hectares of forest. 330 hectares of the land to be lost are deemed, by HS2 Ltd, to be important habitats for wildlife, including 195 hectares of lowland woods and 60 hectares of lowland meadows.


“HS2 will disrupt communities between London and the West Midlands-urban, surburban and rural alike,” said Richard Houghton.


“Don’t take our word for it,  the Government’s own Environmental Statement for Phase 1 of HS2 highlights major negative impacts to people, landscapes and wildlife.  The Statement acknowledges risks to drinking water supplies for some communities.


“Even worse, HS2 won’t even succeed in reducing the UK ’s carbon emissions.  The Government’s business plan for HS2 forecasts just 1% of passengers will transfer from air and 4% from cars. This is the last chance for ordinary people to have their say-make sure you tell David Cameron that our environment is worth protecting. The HS2AA web tool lets you have your say and it only takes 30 seconds.


“HS2 Action Alliance is preparing a detailed route wide response for this consultation.  We are working with leading independent experts in the fields of carbon, waste, noise, landscape and biodiversity to present a comprehensive independent assessment of the environmental impact of HS2.  We think this is vital but we know there are many thousands of individual citizens who share our concerns and so we urge them to make their own views known by responding to the Government’s consultation before the February 27 deadline.”




Notes to Editors:

  1. In the most recent national YouGov Poll, well over 50 per cent of the UK public were opposed to HS2.
  2. A broad coalition of environmental groups have raised significant concerns about the impact of HS2 on the environment-including the Woodland Trust, Wildlife Trusts and Bat Conservation Trust
  3. The Government issued the Environmental Statement in October and the consultation ends on February 27th. The consultation has had to be extended twice because HS2 Ltd omitted various key pieces of information from consultation materials.
  4. The Government’s own HS2 consultation website can be viewed here:https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hs2-phase-one-environmental-statement

For further information please contact:



Iain Macauley


07788 978800


Midlands and South East:

John Read


07774 476391


South and South West:

Peter Chegwyn


07931 177940