It’s time to have your say about HS2.

A public consultation into the controversial proposed high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham was launched last week (28 February).

It is one of the biggest public consultations ever undertaken — focusing on a new Y-shaped network between London and the West Midlands and a second to Leeds.

Campaign group Stop HS2 says the link will devastate dozens of hunts and equestrian businesses (news, 30 December 2010).

And last week protestors in the Vale of Aylesbury lit beacons to mark the launch of the consultation.

But Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond said Britain’s economic map would be redrawn and jobs created.

If it is approved, the first phase of the line is expected to be completed by 2026 and will cost £32billion.

The consultation runs until 29 July and events will take place along the 14-mile route between London and the West Midlands.

Visit: www.highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (10 March, 2011)