'This project is vital for the economy' says HS2 chief
A High Court judge has ruled in favour of campaigners challenging the Government's handling of HS2, the high speed rail route through the Midlands.
Although he rejected all but one of five legal challenges, Mr. Justice Ouseley said the Government's consultation process was unlawful.
HS2 Ltd argue the high-speed rail will boost the economy:
"This project is vital for the economy and for our country going forward. We need the capacity , we need to improve the connectivity between our major cities. The judgement today gives us the green light to press on with the project and deliver that for our major cities."
Government say court's decision will not affect HS2 construction timetable
The Government hailed the court's decision on the cases it won as a "landmark victory" and said the loss on the compensation case would "not affect the HS2 construction timetable in any way".
Rail Minister Simon Burns said: "This is a major landmark victory for HS2 and the future of Britain. The judge has categorically given the green light for the Government to press ahead without delay in building a high-speed railway from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds."
The Government's HS2 high-speed rail scheme suffered a setback today when the High Court ruled that the consultation process for compensating those affected by the multibillion-pound project "was so unfair as to be unlawful".
The decision was a victory for the High Speed 2 Action Alliance (HS2AA), consisting of more than 70 affiliated action groups and residents' associations.
The HS2AA case on consultation was one of five separate cases brought to block the controversial scheme in its current form. It was the only case to succeed.
Mr Justice Ouseley, sitting at London's High Court, is now hearing submissions from lawyers on the appropriate remedy.
The first phase of HS2 would see a high-speed line running from London to Birmingham. A second phase extends the line to Leeds and Manchester to create what will become known as "the Y network".
The project is designed to cut journey times, ease overcrowding and boost regional business.