A warm welcome
Hello and a warm welcome to the website of the Cubbington Action Group against HS2.
What is HS2?
High Speed Two (HS2) is a Government project to build a new high speed railway line between London and Birmingham, with a planned opening date around 2026. It is also envisaged that some time in the 2030s the railway will be extended to Manchester and Leeds.
The track is being designed for speeds up to 400kph (250mph), although the maximum operating speed initially will be 360kph (225mph). Trains will be up to 400m long and will accommodate up to 1,100 passengers.
You may feel that we should all welcome the intention of the Government to invest in our railway network. However, many people fear that HS2 will be a white elephant, which will be a waste of our hard-earned taxes, and that there are better opportunities for investment in our railways which will benefit many more people. At a time when services are being cut back – our own village has suffered a reduction in police cover and bus services – you may be surprised to learn that the Department for Transport has budgeted £750m to cover HS2 costs for this current Parliament (up to 2015). When the work on construction starts, this figure will rise to well over £2bn per year.
The route chosen for HS2
Many people also think that the route chosen for HS2, which has been selected to reduce the London to Birmingham travel time to the absolute minimum, is totally inappropriate. It passes through some of the best countryside in Southern England, including the protected Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and will blight villages, farmland and countryside in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire.
The route will damage the countryside to the east of our village of Cubbington; this area is an important recreational resource for our community and is much utilised and enjoyed by ramblers, dog walkers, our children and many others who appreciate this stretch of unspoilt countryside which is only ten minutes walk from the village. The trackway will scar the unblemished valley of the River Leam as it crosses it on an embankment and a planned cutting will destroy an area of ancient woodland and the National Champion wild pear tree.
The closeness of the route to our village is illustrated by the photograph above. South Cubbington Wood, through which the HS2 trackway will pass, is the belt of trees that extends three-quarters of the way across the photograph in the background.
The Cubbington Action Group
Our action group has been formed to contest the HS2 proposals. It is a member of the Federation of Action Groups Against High Speed Two (AGAHST) and supports the two national bodies Stop HS2 and the HS2 Action Alliance.
We hope that you will feel able to support our fight.
With all best wishes and thanks for visiting our website.
Peter Delow, Chairman Cubbington Action Group against HS2.
Read Peter’s blogs on HS2 and the environment.