HS2 needs to go further

2nd May 2014


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  • Natural resources ,
  • Transport ,
  • Construction ,
  • Ecosystems ,
  • Central government

Author

Caroline M Chapman

Better safeguards are needed to minimise the harmful environmental impacts of HS2, the environmental audit committee has warned

The committee's report, HS2 and the environment, calls on parliament to ensure the planned high-speed rail link between London, Birmingham and Leeds causes minimal damage to ancient woodlands and sites of special scientific interest.

Although the MPs acknowledge that the stated objective for HS2 to deliver “no net biodiversity loss” is a challenge, they want the government to go further.

“The government’s aim of ‘no net biodiversity loss’ on HS2 is not good enough – it should aim for the environmental gains that [were] promised in its white paper on the natural environment,” said committee chair Joan Walley.

The committee also points out that company behind the project, HS2 Limited, has so far surveyed only 60% of the proposed route. Further data gathering, particularly on protected species not included in the current environmental statement, should be carried out as soon as possible, say MPs.


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