HS2 protesters take fight to the Supreme Court

Marion Dakers
CAMPAIGNERS against High Speed 2 will take their case to the Supreme Court this week in their latest attempt the derail the transport project.

The HS2 Action Alliance (HS2AA) and a group of local councils will tomorrow start their latest appeal against the decision to go ahead with the £46.2bn rail link, in a case that has been making its way through the courts for nearly a year.

They have argued that the government should have carried out a more thorough check on the environmental effects of building a new train track between London, Birmingham and later the north of England.

The councils are also claiming that the Hybrid Bill used to push through the scheme is incompatible with European green laws.

HS2AA, which has been trying to raise £50,000 to fund its legal costs, said that “appearing before the highest court in the land shows the legal issues we have raised require careful consideration”.

If the court finds in favour of the protesters, the government could be forced to go back to the drawing board on plans to protect the environment.

Campaigners have already won a case that prompted the government to look again at its plans to compensate residents near the route.

The Department for Transport hopes to start building in 2017, with the first leg open in 2026.

Meanwhile, activists opposing the expansion of Stansted are today expected to start a legal fight against the government’s Airports Commission.

Stop Stansted Expansion said it will file an application for judicial review of the commission’s decision-making, claiming that it has not properly considered all of the options and that it introduced bias by appointing former Manchester Airports Group boss Geoff Muirhead to the panel. Muirhead stepped down last month.