High Speed Rail Consultation Ends

29 July 2011, 05:00 | Updated: 30 July 2011, 08:43

A consultation to find out what people think of plans to build a new rail line between London and the north has ended.

It's likely to be the end of the year before we find out whether plans to build a high-speed rail line through part of the Thames Valley will get the go-ahead.

After five months - the consultation into the multi-million pound London-to-Birmingham link ended last night.

All of your views will now be included in a report - that'll be given to the Transport Secretary.

The proposal is for a high speed train line from London to Birmingham, that would pass through the Thames Valley, close to towns like Aylesbury and Brackley.

To encourage people to give there views, there have been 31 exhibitions attended by 30,000 people, information stands at train stations across England and Scotland, and various meetings with interested parties.

Many local people aren't happy about the plans, saying the new rail link would be a waste of money and have a negative impact on the surrounding environment.

Supporters insist the route is needed, and would provide a real boost for the country's economy.

Alison Munro, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, said:

“We have spoken to thousands of people during the consultation phase and discussed a wide range of views. I have been urging people to read the consultation materials and answer the seven questions that have been set. It is important that we get as many responses as possible so that a detailed report can be given to the Secretary of State to help inform his decision-making on the London to West Midlands link and the future direction of high speed rail.”

Once the consultation closes at midnight, all the responses received will be analysed by an independent company and a report submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond (pictured top right).

He will then announce the Government’s decision on the line between London and the West Midlands by the end of the year.