The government is proposing to build a high speed railway - HS2- between London and Birmingham which will reduce the journey time by 20mins and will cost the equivalent of £1000 per head of population. Whilst discussing this recently I was called a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) because I do not support the idea. This was intended to be derogatory. It was, in fact, inaccurate on two points. Firstly I no longer live on the intended route of HS2. Secondly my objection is to the rail link entirely regardless of any route it takes. I am not alone in this objection: there is even support within the House of Commons.
The Stop HS2 movement summarise their opposition succinctly as:
No business case
No environmental case
No money to build it
Of course their case would receive much more support if the project was going to wipe out a national treasure - Blenheim or Stonehenge for example.
All it will damage is :
The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
4 Wildlife Trust Reserves
10 Sites of Special Scientific Interest
50 areas of Ancient WoodlandNothing very special, then.
In the National Trust Magazine recently Simon Barnes of The Times made the case for a Society for the Protection of Nothing Very Special.
Sing me up Simon.
If the NIMBYs don't fight for these kinds of minor treasures who will?
Some of the Not Very Special contryside which HS2 will destroy,