Judicial Reviews against HS2 going ahead

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the first step towards the HS2 judicial reviews. Judicial reviews look at whether the appropriate processes have been followed by the government before making their decision – Stop HS2 does not think they have.

We asked for information that might be useful in developing the judicial reviews, and we are very grateful to all the people who have already forwarded information.

There is still time to send us information if you have it – the email address is challenge@stophs2.org.

We also asked for funding for the environmental judicial review.  Thank you so much to everyone who contributed: this has gone towards the amount raised by HS2 action groups, HS2AA and other organisations  for the legal challenge.

The grounds for the environmental legal challenge are the failure of the Department for Transport to comply with the requirements of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Regulations 2004 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. The SEA Regulations require a full strategic environmental assessment of any important infrastructure project and an assessment of all alternatives to be completed before any proposals are presented for public consultation. The Government failed to do this with HS2.

As we reported last week, a separate letter of complaint regarding the UK Government’s non-compliance with the SEA Directive has also been sent by BBOWT (Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust) to the European Commission, inviting the Commission to investigate the actions of the UK Government on this matter.

There are two separate claimants in the legal challenges.  For the environmental one it is HS2AA and for the case looking at the process of the consultation it is 51M, a group of councils opposed to HS2.

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12 comments to “Judicial Reviews against HS2 going ahead”
  1. You all need to stop moaning and crying about something which hasn’t even had the route officially decided, it will benefit the country as a whole. Im sure you are all quick to moan when you don’t have a decent rail link to the capital, yet when one is provided you moan and cry about it. It will create a massive job boom, although not meccasarily to British citizens. Of course, there will be a lot of disruption, but no improvement plan could stop that. Things will change/be ruined as you call it, but it’s for the better.

    • all people are trying to do here is to challenge what is seen as a bad payback for the tax payer. I work in the private sector on large projects and this just wouldn’t get off the ground due to the woefully inadaquate cost benefit analysis. When you say it will benefit the country I’d love to know on what clear and unambiguous basis you make this statement. All ahead the Judicial review I say, hopefully it will bring some common sense to the table.

    • Oh and by the way, a majority of those “moaning and crying” about this “decent rali link to the capital” will not be able to use it as it does not actullay stop anywhere between Birmingham and London in case you had not realised!

    • Stop “moaning and crying” – tell my aged parents who are going to lose their home and get less than market value for it. The route is agreed, all that happens now is rubber stamping and land grab. As for creating jobs in other countries being ok, are you totally oblivious to the number of people out of work in this country James? I don’t see why my taxes should benefit employment opportunities in other Eurpean nations and the far East. If this is to go ahead based on the generation of jobs, they need to be in the UK in the main or otherwise the fact that the CBR is just about nil and job creation is outside the UK is a farce, we’d be better just sending the French and the Chinese a bloody big cheque and not bothering building it in the first place.

      • Well said Sarah!
        It is amazing how many of these HS2 supporters claim that HS2 will “benefit the country as a whole” and then back it up with no facts whatsoever. In fact they seem to ignore various reports, some from the government itself, downgrading payback and pointing to the errors in the HS1 implementation. This is probably because the facts do not fit their requirements.

        There is no compelling evidence yet to explain how shaving 20 minutes off the journey time from London to a new station 10-15 minutes away from Birmingham centre will “boost the economy”. That is even before the next phase is considered.

        Let us consider for a moment a looming problem that the government is creating for us all;
        By the time HS2 is built the power requirements of this country will be outstripping supply. HS2 with its varying number of trains per hour will become a further drain on that power supply. Noticed how foreign power companies are withdrawing their proposals for building new power stations? Where is the power to come from? Fossil fuels are apparently not an option and they would further burden the “carbon neutrality” of HS2 although that fact would probably be excluded from HS2 positive reporting like the £8 billion for the cost of the rolling stock….how can that be excluded from the costs?

        It would “benefit the country” as a whole if the whole project was scrapped now to avoid wasting yet more money that we are told that we do not have (yes I know that this is from money available after Crossrail is finished) and get on with reducing the deficit instead of increasing it still further.

        Hmm, I did not realise just how easy it is to use a phrase like “good for the country”, “benefit the country” or “boost the economy”.

        • I feel so sorry for people like Sarah’s parents, who are to forfeit their homes for the sake of the fanciful desire to have a brand new fast train in Britain.

          HS2 supporters don’t care that it won’t provide sufficient benefits relative to cost to justify it. They don’t care that it won’t really be able to relieve the congestion on our countrywide existing trains, roads and airways. They don’t even care that it will need ongoing vast amounts of money from the government to maintain it and keep it running. They really should consider the alternative high-speed rail, rather than disregard the serious flaws of the multi-billion-pound HS2.

          Last year I asked Alison Munro of HS2 Ltd how the electricity would be generated, not only to power the trains, but all the additional demands it could lead to. She told me that the Government will ensure that enough electricity will be provided. That’s reassuring – isn’t it? I read last week that our electricity could come from Iceland. The geothermal heat to produce it is free – but I wonder how much it will cost us to get it piped from Iceland.

          I have also asked many people involved with HS2 what the ‘benefits of HS2 over other high-speed rail options’ are, and you are right – their answers steer away from facts. The benefits they state are all supposition; after all it’s a brand new fast train they are wanting – whatever the cost.

  2. The process was a sham. The consultation was joke. The quality of the studies are appalling. The select committee completely ignored expert opinion for personal interests. The input and lobbying by transport bodies is just shameless self-interest. Basically the central premise to me is that its a flawed decision from a flawed process for a flawed scheme. I hope it gets challenged all the way and at every single step.

  3. I also thank all those involved in this battle ,who like me have contributed money and have been tireless,far more than me,in trying to get
    sense be heard.

  4. great work by all involved–thank you
    by the way why are HS2 Ltd based in London as one of the best ways to boost the Midlands and the North is for Govt depts and allied employers to move out of London

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