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8 February 2012, 17:38
Councils against the plan to build a new rail line between London and Birmingham warn they're prepared to take legal action.
Members of 51m, an alliance of local authorities opposed to the £33 billion High Speed Two project, have sent a formal letter to the Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, asking her to change her mind about going ahead with the proposal or they plan to seek a judicial review.
The plan was given Government backing on January 10th with promises that it will bring 26,000 more seats for rail passengers each hour and journey times will be slashed by as much as a half. It's hoped that it'll also encourage people off the roads and domestic flights to free up capacity elsewhere, as well as reducing pressure on the West Coast Mainline.
The line is due to pass through Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire.
Councillor Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County County speaking on behalf of the group said: '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 quickly delivered alternative put forward by 51m.
'We should be investing in our existing rail and road infrastructure across the entire country to bring jobs and growth now when it's needed.'
Buckinghamshire County Council, South Bucks District Council, South Northants District Council, and Three Rivers District Council are amongst the local authorities voicing their opposition to the planned rail line.