Oxfordshire County Council has joined a group of local authorities opposing the Government’s £32bn plan to build a high-speed railway line between London and Birmingham.

The proposed route would cut across the north-east corner of Oxfordshire between Finmere and Mixbury, closely following the formation of the disused Great Central Railway, which closed in 1966.

The council has signed up to the 51m group, which takes its name from the amount of money in millions of pounds that the project, known as HS2, would cost every Parliamentary constituency in Britain. Cherwell District Council is also a member.

Rodney Rose, the council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “Although the proposed route only clips the northern extremity of Oxfordshire at Finmere, it is still legitimate for the county council to have a view on this proposal. Oxfordshire County Council is not opposed on environmental grounds, however, we are deeply concerned about the business case for HS2.

“We cannot but reflect on what we could do with just a fraction of £32bn to invest in local transport infrastructure.”

Martin Tett, the leader of Buckinghamshire County Council and chairman of 51m, said: “I’m delighted that Oxfordshire has joined the growing ranks of local authorities who have reviewed, challenged and now oppose this immensely expensive scheme.

“This is a challenging time for this country economically and socially. To spend so much on a project where it is now generally accepted to have a very dubious business case, not be green and do little to heal the North-South divide is crazy.

“The addition of Oxfordshire will add extra real weight and influence to our message.”