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Campaigners dealt blow as Supreme Court rejects HS2 appeal
COUNCILLORS in Hillingdon are vowing to continue the fight against the HS2 high-speed rail link after the rejection by the Supreme Court of a legal challenge to the scheme.
It focused on claims that the Government did not properly assess HS2's environmental impact in an attempt to cut corners.
It also argued that the Hybrid Bill procedure did not comply with the current requirements of European Law.
Both challenges were unanimously rejected by a panel of seven.
The appeal was brought to the Supreme Court by the HS2 Action Alliance, as well as members of the 51M group, a union of councils opposed to the planned railway.
Though the Supreme Court is the final court of appeal for civil cases in the UK, Hillingdon Council has confirmed it is in talks about the possibility of appealing to the European Commission.
Cllr Ray Puddifoot, its leader, said: “We will do everything possible to protect our residents against this flawed project.”
The campaign group Hillingdon Against HS2 (HS2AA) said the Supreme Court's refusal to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice went against its obligations under the EU Treaty.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer, welcoming the judgment, said the legal challenge had addressed technical issues that had no bearing on the need for a new north-south railway.
She added: "We will now continue to press ahead with the delivery of HS2."
Hilary Wharf, director of HS2AA said: "The Government should be safeguarding our environment for future generations and the simple fact is HS2 is an unnecessary and hugely damaging project environmentally."
HS2AA urged people to take action by contacting local MPs, lodging a petition and responding to the environmental statement consultation.
The £57bn project plans to link London to Birmingham, via the Chilterns and Warwickshire, while the second phase looks to extend the route even further.
Proposed route maps for the HS2 shows the track passing through Ruislip, Harefield and Ickenham.
Supporters say the new rail link will create thousands of jobs and increase connectivity between the cities.
Trains will include seats for up to 1,100 people, and will reach speeds of 250mph, reducing the journey time between London and Birmingham by 35 minutes.