High-Speed Rail 2 – The Public Opinion
The proposed HS2 that will connect the Midlands to London in 49 minutes, allowing an economy boost around the Midlands, has caused much controversy since day one.
“It’s a pain in the backside to be honest.” – Tom, Truro, 25
It seems that 63% of the panel were against the idea of the HS2, with the main factor being the environmental damage the proposed track will cause. A number of the panel commented that the creation of the track will lead to a deterioration of the countryside, killing stunning scenery – as there was a general opinion that the track will be going through some great areas of the country that should be preserved.
Others felt that the £50million project is not economical for a slightly quicker journey, the attached cost is already very high, many wondered how much the tickets would be to travel on the HS2. Furthermore, the time taken to build the track is projected to be a number of years – meaning tax payers will not feel the benefit of where their money is being spent for a while.
Some of the panel were directly affected by the HS2 track, this proportion of the panel felt it was unfair that their neighbourhood should be disturbed without being able to gain benefits from HS2. Others were worried about an increase in the price of living around the Midlands, as commuters will be able to live further away from London and get there in the same time.
Although there were some positives, as the segment of the panel for the proposed HS2 spoke of the economic gain for the country, as people able to fly into Birmingham and commute down to London, bringing more business to the Midlands. Similarly it may create more jobs, for people who live further north could take on opportunities in London and vice versa.
There was a general feeling that it was about time we benefit from high speed rail, as our rail system is currently behind other countries – that we should be proud of our railway system, and it is important to invest in the UK rail network. That HS2 will affect the population as a whole in the long run, as travelling in the UK will be made more reliable and efficient.