Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 15:16 UK

Groups unite against high-speed rail link

Members of HS2 Action Alliance
The group is planning to raise funds

More than 30 groups against a proposed high-speed rail link have joined forces to fight the plan.

A route between London and Birmingham with a future extension to northern England and Scotland was announced by the former Labour government in March.

The new Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition government has committed to the scheme but not said what the route should be.

But groups in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Buckinghamshire have vowed to fight it.

They have united under the name HS2 Action Alliance which is "working for fair and just compensation".

We need to speak with one voice
Graham Long, HS2 Action Alliance

Announcing the plans earlier this year, former Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said subject to public consultation, trains would run from Euston to Birmingham with interchange stations west of Paddington and near Birmingham airport.

The preferred route would pass through north-west London, the south-west of Aylesbury, then to the west of Buckingham and the east of Brackley and Banbury, before passing between Leamington Spa and Coventry and heading into the eastern side of Birmingham.

The proposal also includes a connection with the existing rail network near Lichfield, Staffordshire.

'Raise funds'

Work is unlikely to start until 2017 at the earliest.

But residents have said they are upset at the effect the route will have on their homes and livelihoods.

Separate protest groups have been formed since the plans were announced but now, they have decided to merge.

Graham Long, from HS2 Action Alliance told BBC News that working together was the best way to act.

"It's vital," he said.

"We need to speak with one voice.

"We also need to raise the funds to be able to employ the sort professional help that we will have to deploy against government."



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SEE ALSO
Ministers pressing rail plan case
20 May 10 |  Scotland
Protest over high speed rail link
13 Apr 10 |  Coventry/Warwickshire

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