1. ITV Report

Businesses make the case against the HS2 link

Camden Town Unlimited is an organisation appointed by the business community to improve Camden Town as a place to work, live and visit. Chief Executive, Simon Pitkeathley explains why they are opposed to the development of HS2.

Stuck in between squabbling politicians are the businesses and people who will be directly affected by the HS2 project. Until shovels are put into the ground or the project is cancelled, places like Camden are expected to put up or shut up.

Camden Market Credit: Press Association

Camden Town is a successful, vibrant and key part of London's economy. Camden's markets are world-renowned. Yet the prospect of high speed rail brings with it the possibility of massive disruption, which, if mishandled, could cause irreversible damage.

In particular, Camden's businesses are concerned about current proposals put forward for a HS1-HS2 link that recommends against tunnelling and suggests a cheaper surface access option. While this might, on the face of it, save costs, it does nothing to factor in the real cost and impact to the local economy. If you stop a market trader working for weeks on end, they never come back.

Poster as part of the campaign to stop the HS2 project Credit: Press Association

And though there's much more to Camden than its amazing markets, they're what give it its character and flavour.

What Camden businesses want is certainty in the future and not an endless debate about what might or might not happen. If HS2 is to happen let's ensure that businesses and residents are included in the debate to ensure that disruption is minimised. If it doesn't go ahead, then let us get on with ensuring Camden remains the unique place London loves.

The views of Camden Town Unlimited do not necessarily reflect those of ITV News.