HS2 opponents lose new appeal

Marion Dakers
CAMPAIGNERS against the High Speed 2 rail link yesterday lost their latest attempt to block the project – but the judges have given them permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeal yesterday rejected all seven grounds argued by three group of objectors to the £42.6bn scheme, upholding an earlier High Court decision.

While the government said the judgement represented a green light for the rail link from London to Birmingham and beyond, the campaigners have vowed to pursue their case further.

“We will continue our fight in the courts to make sure that the government does not duck its environmental responsibilities over HS2,” said Hilary Wharf, director of the HS2 Action Alliance.

A lawyer for the group told City A.M. it is “encouraging” that the court had given leave to appeal at this stage, rather than forcing them to ask the Supreme Court.

“This, and the nature of the dissenting judgement from Lord Justice Sullivan on the scale of the environmental effects of HS2, show the urgency of the case,” said Simon Ricketts of SJ Berwin.

HS2AA, which has spent around £300,000 taking the government to court over the project, said it has the funding in place to launch its Supreme Court appeal.