Monday 25 November 2013 8:29 am

Reading the HS2 bill before consultation ends is equivalent to finishing War and Peace every other day

Want to be properly informed about the HS2 debate, and you've maybe even considered reading the bill?

An estimated length of around 49,000 pages might make you reconsider. The Woodland Trust say that attempting to finish the document is roughly equivalent to reading Leo Tolstoy's Russian classic "War and Peace" every other day.

Here are their calculations:

The full Environmental Statement could consist of around 49,000 -55,000 pages (current reports suggest it will be 49,000)

The weight of the documents is likely to be 1 tonne (1,000 kg), equivalent to weight of a small car (Toyota Aygo weighs approx. 900kg!).

The cost of printing a full set of the Environmental Statement documents is estimated at £15,000.

49,000 – 55,000 divided by 56 days equals 982 or 875 pages respectively that would need to be read each day.

Assuming there are roughly 400 words on an A4 page, 49,000 – 55,000 pages could contain from 19,600,000 to 22,000,000 words.

War and Peace has 560,000 words, meaning the Environmental Statement has 35-40 times this amount.

Good luck to anyone attempting to read the whole thing.