An alliance of (mostly Conservative-run) local authorities opposed to the High Speed rail link have threatened the Transport Secretary Justine Greening with a judicial review unless she abandons the current plans announced ion January 10.
Cllr Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council says:
"We are taking this stance with regret. We would far rather that the Government had listened to the people of this country who have decisively rejected this massively expensive project and instead opted for the far better, cheaper and more quickly delivered alternative put forward by 51m. Communities in the Midlands and the north of England risk being bypassed and left to decline by HS2. We should be investing in our existing rail and road infrastructure across the entire country to bring jobs and growth now when it is needed."
Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Vice-Chairman of 51m and Leader of Hillingdon Council adds:
"The consultation process was unfair and inadequate in many respects. Ordinary people whose lives and livelihoods will be severely affected between Birmingham and Manchester and Leeds were not even given an adequate chance to have their say. The whole project represents extremely poor value for money for the hard pressed UK taxpayer and it is right that we challenge the Government's decision to progress with this misguided scheme."
The alliance is named 51m after the £51 million that HS2 would costt each constituency. They "are not against the principle of High Speed Rail" but believe the current proposals "provides very poor value for money."
Councils who are members of the group include Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire County Councils.