Sadly, environmental campaigners are being drawn into opposing HS2 on the false premise that HS2 is a major threat to England’s ancient woodlands.
So, here’s the truth:
- Of the 52,000 ancient woodland sites in England, just 43 will be partially affected by HS2’s route between London and Crewe
- Over 80% of the combined area across the 43 affected sites will remain intact and untouched by HS2
- Overall 7 million new trees and shrubs will be planted on the first phase of the railway alone
- A ‘Green Corridor’ between London and Birmingham with over 33 square kilometres of new wildlife habitat is being created by HS2
As Greengauge 21 has long argued, as electrical power generation is decarbonised, the new capacity that the project creates for travel by electrically-powered trains gives a boost to plans to reduce carbon emissions.
Current estimates are that by the time the London – Crewe line is open (now projected as 2030), travelling on HS2 will emit about 7 times less carbon emissions per passenger kilometre than the same journey by car and 17 times less than the equivalent domestic flight.
In succeeding years, these carbon savings will increase.
On balance, HS2 is a green project.