The chief executive of HS2 Ltd, part of the high-speed rail network project has welcomed the Court of Appeal decision to reject a legal challenge from its opponents.
Alison Munro said: "We now carry on the vital work we are doing to deliver a high speed rail network that will act as an engine for growth, address the capacity challenge on the railways and connect up eight out of 10 of our biggest cities.
"We will also continue to do all that we can to minimise the environmental impact of the new network while ensuring that those directly impacted along the route are fairly compensated."
Opponents of the HS2 high speed rail project have said they are "disappointed" after a court rejected their legal challenge against the plans. Councillor Martin Tett, chairman of the 51m alliance and leader of Buckinghamshire County Council said today:
Yes, we are disappointed with the result.
Lord Justice Sullivan gives a very strong steer that HS2 Ltd has failed both in its obligation to fully assess the environmental implications of the project and vitally to assess these against the alternative we have put forward.
His comments in his judgment are damning of the Department for Transport's approach, stating: 'If, as I have concluded, an SEA is required and there has not been substantial compliance with the SEA Directive, it would be difficult to think of a more egregious breach of the Directive given the scale of the HS2 project and the likely extent of its effects on the environment."
This is another example of the Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd riding roughshod over public opinion, ploughing ahead regardless of what local communities want and ignoring the environmental merits of the alternatives.
Work on a new high speed railway from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds will continue after the Court of Appeal today rejected further attempts to derail the scheme. In a statement the Department of Transport said:
The court has given the Government the green light to press ahead without delay in delivering the engine for growth.
Of the seven broad areas of challenge to the decisions on the principle of HS2 and route for Phase One (from London to Birmingham), made by three sets of claimants, the Court of Appeal ruled categorically in the Government’s favour on every one.
The Government will be moving forward as planned with introducing legislation in Parliament later this year and getting the scheme ready for construction in 2017.
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."