Villages unite to fight off high speed rail link

FIVE villages in north Oxfordshire have banded together to fight the proposed high-speed Rail route through the county.

The High-Speed Rail 2 (HS2) line was proposed last year to provide a fast train link between London and Birmingham by 2025.

The planned line would travel through north east Oxfordshire, affecting villages including Finmere, Mixbury, Fringford, Fulwell and Newton Purcell.

Now concerned villagers have formed an action group called Villages of Oxfordshire Opposing HS2 (VoxOpp).

Chairman Bernie Douglas said their main objective was to get the line routed away from their villages, as well as raising awareness and getting answers about the impact the line would have on the countryside.

He said: “There is a lot of support for this cause. We held a meeting in Mixbury in April before the group was formed and more than 80 people attended.

“This was in a village of only 100 houses, so the support is clear. People want answers.”

If built, trains on the line could reach speeds of up to 250mph and up to 36 trains would travel through the county every hour.

Mr Douglas said there would be a major impact on the countryside, such as noise pollution.

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The group has written to Transport Minister Philip Hammond and the company HS2 Ltd but has yet to receive an answer.

Mr Douglas said: “There are a raft of issues we need answered, but at the moment we are not getting any information.”

“It is like trying to take on the whole industry with our hands tied behind our backs.”

He added: “A train running at 250mph every three minutes in each direction is not something you can just close your window to and ignore.

“This will change the character of the landscape for good, as well as uprooting lives and sometimes whole communities on the route.”

A Department of Transport spokesman said: “No final decision will be made on whether to proceed with a high speed line or on its route until any scheme has undergone a full public consultation, giving people an opportunity to have their say.”

Comments (4)

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1:18pm Tue 7 Sep 10

thomashenry says...

Not in my back yard, please!
Not in my back yard, please! thomashenry
  • Score: 0

6:36pm Tue 7 Sep 10

bccubitt says...

This isnt just "not in my backyard", this should be "not in anyone's backyard". Where is the power going to come from to power ultra high speed trains that use 3 times the power of conventional rail? New power stations? Arent we meant to be working towards a low carbon economy and a more sustainable future?

To quote the Cato Institute’s policy analysis of High Speed Rail “high-speed rail proposals are high cost, high-risk megaprojects that promise little or no congestion relief, energy savings, or other environmental benefits."
This isnt just "not in my backyard", this should be "not in anyone's backyard". Where is the power going to come from to power ultra high speed trains that use 3 times the power of conventional rail? New power stations? Arent we meant to be working towards a low carbon economy and a more sustainable future? To quote the Cato Institute’s policy analysis of High Speed Rail “high-speed rail proposals are high cost, high-risk megaprojects that promise little or no congestion relief, energy savings, or other environmental benefits." bccubitt
  • Score: 0

7:57pm Tue 7 Sep 10

Andrew:Oxford says...

Isn't this mostly a case of reopening sections of railway line? Looking at the maps, it seems to generally follow the route of the old GC railway. Will be great when it finally opens - with the claimed benefit from the protesters of 36 trains every hour - that's over 36,000 passengers being taken off the roads and out of planes.
Isn't this mostly a case of reopening sections of railway line? Looking at the maps, it seems to generally follow the route of the old GC railway. Will be great when it finally opens - with the claimed benefit from the protesters of 36 trains every hour - that's over 36,000 passengers being taken off the roads and out of planes. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

12:12pm Wed 8 Sep 10

bccubitt says...

HS2 will not decrease road or air traffic and the £30 billion budgeted to be spent on high speed rail will merely drain the existing transport system of much needed investment.

Fewer than 2% of those driving on the motorways between Birmingham and London are expected to switch to HS2, and historically high speed trains have done little to relieve congestion on motorways.

The Bow Group, 2M Group and BAA all admit that high speed rail is likely to feed more air passengers into Heathrow airport - with increased demand in particular for long haul flights. It is a well known risk that for every short-haul flight diverted to rail, a new long-haul flight will be allowed to land at Heathrow. This would maintain congestion at current levels, and, through larger planes flying longer distances, greatly increase global CO2 emissions.
HS2 will not decrease road or air traffic and the £30 billion budgeted to be spent on high speed rail will merely drain the existing transport system of much needed investment. Fewer than 2% of those driving on the motorways between Birmingham and London are expected to switch to HS2, and historically high speed trains have done little to relieve congestion on motorways. The Bow Group, 2M Group and BAA all admit that high speed rail is likely to feed more air passengers into Heathrow airport - with increased demand in particular for long haul flights. It is a well known risk that for every short-haul flight diverted to rail, a new long-haul flight will be allowed to land at Heathrow. This would maintain congestion at current levels, and, through larger planes flying longer distances, greatly increase global CO2 emissions. bccubitt
  • Score: 0

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