AND WHAT WILL BE ITS EFFECT?
The planned route of the HS2 high-speed train link between London and Birmingham crosses Buckinghamshire from end to end, through the historic landscapes of the Chilterns, the Vale of Aylesbury and the North Bucks villages. The plans were announced by the UK government early in 2011.
The proposed line enters the county in the south near Denham, tunnels under the southern half of the Chilterns emerging near Little Missenden, follows the Misbourne Valley to Wendover, passes between Aylesbury and Hartwell House, crosses the Doddershall estate, and eventually leaves near Chetwode in the north.
The plans show that construction work for the line will cut through a whole range of historic sites and buildings in Bucks, including a section of the prehistoric Grim's Ditch, known Roman sites and medieval deserted villages. Many more sites, though not destroyed by the work, will be affected by the introduction of a 250mph rail line into their historic environment.
The HS2 plans have caused considerable controversy, ranging from support on economic grounds to opposition from environmental groups. In Buckinghamshire this opposition is most vocal, with many residents' groups focusing on issues such as noise and property values. Strong opposition has also come from environmental groups such as the Chiltern Society and from Buckinghamshire County Council, along with other councils along the line.