Hundreds of people whose homes will be affected by the new HS2 rail link turned out for a visit to the Thames Valley today - from the group of MPs who are deciding the route.
HS2 would link London to the Midlands and beyond - cutting through swathes of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire including towns such as Aylesbury and Wendover.
Many residents want the multi-billion pound plans scrapped altogether. The government, though, is adamant that the scheme will go ahead. Mel Bloor reports.
As part of the inquiry into the High Speed Rail Bill, the HS2 Select Committee will be in Buckinghamshire today.
They're deciding on the proposed route and will be at, among other destinations, Aylesbury and Wendover. Campaigners are due to protest at every location they visit.
Campaigners are due to launch a new case for an underground rail line as an alternative to the High Speed Two link through the Chilterns.
Several villages in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire are in the path of the proposed route.
Several councils, including Chiltern District, have commissioned a new report into a better and viable alternative.
More residents affected by the £50 billion HS2 high-speed rail project are to get Government compensation and assistance.
The new deal involves owner-occupiers of homes and small businesses between generally 60 metres and up to 120 metres from the line from London to Birmingham, which will carve through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.
Those affected can submit an application to HS2 Ltd to purchase their property at the full, unblighted value under the voluntary purchase scheme.
This is the value of the property as if there were no plans for HS2.
As an alternative to the voluntary purchase scheme, these eligible property owners will also have the option to accept a cash offer of 10% of that same value and stay in their homes and businesses. This will support people who want to remain in their community.
Those beyond the 120 metre boundary but within 300 metres of the line in rural areas will, following Royal Assent of the Phase One HS2 Hybrid Bill, be able to apply for a homeowner payment ranging from £7,500 to £22,500.
The controversial proposed high speed rail link between London and the West Midlands, has run into more opposition. Wildlife campaigners claim a rare species of bat could lose its habitat if the 42 billion pound scheme goes ahead.
ITV Meridian spoke to Matt Jackson from the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust.
The Church of England has criticised plans for a high speed rail link through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The Archbishops' Council has expressed concerns at proposals to dig up a number of burial sites along the route.
More than 30,000 graves must be exhumed to make way for HS2 including two and a half thousand within the ruins of St Mary the Virgin Church in Stoke Mandeville. See our report from Mel Bloor
The Church of England has announced it's opposition to the Government's controversial HS2 high speed rail line.
One of the Church's most powerful bodies, the Archbishop's Council says the route which would pass through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, will desecrate thousands of graves.
In a statement a Department for Transport spokesman says throughout the development, burial grounds have been avoided as much as possible. ITV Meridian spoke to Helen Glass of HS2 Ltd.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin gave this statement after MPs voted in favour for work to being on HS2 in 2017:
By voting in favour of the hybrid Bill, Parliament has made a clear commitment to a key part of the government’s long term economic plan. HS2 is a once in a generation opportunity to create jobs and develop skills, provide the extra space we need on our rail network for commuters and freight and better connect our biggest cities.
I am aware of the concerns some who live very close to the HS2 route have. I am confident however that by working together we can ensure this vital new north-south railway is designed in the right way, and we will have spades in the ground in 2017 as planned.
Work on the High Speed Two rail link will begin in 2017 as planned after MPs voted in favour of it last night.
The bill passed its 2nd reading in the Commons with MPs voting 452 to 41 in favour.
Several villages are in the path of the proposed route through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.
The government has confirmed that MPs will vote on the HS2 Phase 1 Hybrid Bill later this month.
Former Cabinet minister Cheryl Gillan, who led the rebellion against the HS2 scheme which will cut through Tory heartlands in the Chilterns, indicated that she would keep up the fight by scrutinising the project "inch by inch" as it progressed through Parliament.
Supporters of the Stop HS2 campaign gathered outside the Houses of Parliament ahead of the second reading of the High Speed Rail Bill later today.
The protest comes amid suggestions senior Tories will rebel against proposals to build the high-speed rail link over environmental and economic concerns.