High Speed Two rail link 'not necessary'

Opponents of the proposed new high speed rail link have repeated their view that they do not think it is necessary.

A public consultation for the route between London and Birmingham and then a second phase to Manchester is currently under way.

Some opponents claimed not enough people were aware this was their chance to have their say on the matter.

The government has said the consultation is nationwide.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: "This is a nationwide consultation and people across the country are joining in and making their views known about what will be a major investment in Britain's future economic competitiveness.

Opponent Joy Fielding of Kings Bromley in Staffordshire said the revised route for HS2 would see it go across her family's farmland.

"It is a huge thing, which is going to knock approximately 20 minutes off the route between London to Birmingham and for that so much will be destroyed," she said.

Maggie Punyer, who lives near Lichfield, Staffordshire, said she discovered the new route would leave her home effectively cut off.

"I was shocked to say the least and I had no idea that that was how it was going to run," she said.

She talked to engineers when the HS2 roadshow visited Lichfield earlier this week. They told her that there would be no impact on her home.

However, David Dundas of Lion Industries, a power painting firm based in Lichfield, Staffordshire, said: "It will benefit us by having a good HS2 station in the centre of Birmingham, that everyone in the Midlands can access."

Phase one of the consultation ends in July and it is expected a decision will be made by the government by the end of the year.

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