Protest groups plan action against HS2
The government is beginning its consultation on plans for a high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham today (February 28).
The work on HS2 is planned to begin in 2015 with completion in 2026 and will reduce current journey times,
Opposition groups, however, say that the environmental impact from noise and damage to areas of natural beauty is unacceptable.
Protest group Stop HS2 is planning events to protest against the plans today.
In Birmingham they will parade a white elephant through the streets and in the evening they will light beacons along the line.
Business groups are supporting the government's plans but there is opposition amongst MPs and some local councils.
Transport secretary, Philip Hammond said: "HS2 will be a piece of national infrastructure which will bring benefits to Britain as a whole.
"Of course we will do everything we can to mitigate the impacts on areas like the Chilterns but projects like this have to be decided on the basis of the national interest and the overall net benefits it will bring to Britain." Alison Brown