Petition to stop HS2 Chiltern construction to be debated in Parliament
and live on Freeview channel 276
A petition to repeal HS2 works in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the Chilterns will be debated in parliament.
The petition blew past the 10,000 signatures required for a Government debate, with 155,247 people signing up in support.
Now, politicians must debate the merits of the major transport scheme and its effects on the local environment on September 13.
It took just five days for the petition to surpass 100,000 votes, with famous naturalist Chris Packham, among the most high profile supporters.
The petition hopes to block HS2 constructions across the country. It says: "Our environment and economy are in peril. HS2 is destroying nature and inflicting suffering on businesses and property owners. Government is investing in an inept and recklessly run project, offering poor value for money.
"HS2 will not reach Net Zero by 2050 nor help us level up the North. The pandemic has changed how we work forever and invalidated the business case. Given the climate emergencies we face, and now the economic and pandemic crises - Parliament must vote to repeal the legislation."
The Government responded stating that HS2 is an environmentally-friendly project. The statement read: "The Government has carefully considered the merits and disadvantages of proceeding with HS2 and has firmly concluded that it should go ahead.
"HS2 will transform our country’s transport network, and help to rebalance opportunity fairly across the country. This railway is a long-term investment which will bring our biggest cities closer together, boost productivity and provide a low-carbon alternative to cars and planes for many decades to come.
"During construction, we want HS2 to be the most environmentally responsible major infrastructure project in UK history.
"As well as environmental protections, a range of measures to mitigate and compensate for environmental impacts have been put in place.
"All environmental measures, whether they be the creation of new habitats or the enhancement of existing habitats, will be supported with long-term management plans and agreements. This will ensure that the new railway leaves a long-lasting legacy for both wildlife and future generations."
A report from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority warned that delays and mounting costs could jeopardise the countrywide construction, The Times revealed.