Protesters rubbish HS2 “acceleration” calls

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Protesters have criticised calls for the construction of the Government’s controversial high-speed rail plan to be brought forward.

The proposed Birmingham to Leeds leg of the HS2 route is expected to cut through many parts of Derbyshire –including Killamarsh, Renishaw and Staveley – but the 250mph trains will not stop in the county.

In a report published this week, Sir David Higgins, chairman of HS2 Ltd, said the second phase of the project to take the line to northern England by 2033 should instead be completed by 2027.

He said the Government should “accelerate” the scheme, claiming it is “vital” for the country’s future.

But HS2 protester Alan Curtis, of Chesterfield, said the plan shouldn’t go ahead at all.

“There’s so much feeling against this mad idea,” he said.

“We’ll gain very little – if anything – in Derbyshire.

“It’ll damage countryside and historical buildings and lots of people face losing their homes as they lie in the way of the track.

“It will be devastating.”

The Government estimates the cost of building HS2 to be £42.6bn.

Experts predict the building of the HS2 route will create thousands of local jobs and speed up journey times.