FIFTEEN local councils yesterday launched a judicial appeal against the government’s £33bn High Speed Two rail expansion plans.
A group of councils under the name 51m have lodged the legal challenge because they claim residents from London Euston to the Midlands have not been consulted over the scheme.
The rail link, which in its current guise would allow trains to travel at 250mph between the capital, Birmingham and eventually northern England, could be done more cheaply and efficiently, the councils said yesterday. The coalition has endured a fresh wave of complaints about the project since transport secretary Justine Greening approved it in January.
“Virtually all objective analysts have condemned this project. The business case is fundamentally flawed and represents appallingly poor value for money to the hard pressed British taxpayers,” said Martin Tett, chair of 51m and head of Buckinghamshire Council.