21st Jul, 2018

EDITOR'S COMMENT: HS2 continues to divide public opinion

THE looming high speed rail line HS2 continues to divide public opinion in our region, despite the latest charm offensive.

Rumbling along the planned route from the bureaucrats in London and Birmingham this week comes the promise of new natural habitats for the displaced, from the great crested newt to woodlands.

It brings little comfort to the displaced families of Kenilworth, Burton Green or Berkswell – and the thousands more facing a decade of disruption, or disproportionate property devaluation.

Other HS2 PR charm offensives over five years have been undermined by academic study – including propaganda it will end the north/south divide.

And we hardly need intellectual rigour to know trains go both ways!

While arguments rage over ministerial claims the extra rail capacity is needed – and who it will actually serve after 2026 – HS2 is bringing some jobs and investment, including via the West Midlands Combined Authority. That is welcome.

But at what cost to the quality of life for many?

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