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GP threatens Government with legal action over HS2 rail link

A GP is attempting to derail the Government’s plans for a high-speed train connection from London to the north of England by threatening legal action if it does not publish the results of an assessment it has already carried out.

The rail link will plow through the village of Burton Green in Warwickshire, where t lives. Although his surgery in nearby Kenilworth is unaffected, Dr Thornton said ‘some friends and neighbours will lose their homes’.

Dr Thornton’s law firm, Leigh Day, has now issued a ‘letter before action’ to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, after he vetoed the release of a critical report produced by the Cabinet Office, which assessed potential problems with the rail link. This was after the Information Commissioners Officer had given the green light for the report to be released.

Dr Thornton said: ‘The Government is hiding the report because it will confirm the major weaknesses of the HS2 scheme.

‘Superficially an attractive concept, when the HS2 line is studied in any depth it becomes clear that the business case, the environmental case and the economic case put forward for it are flawed and it has numerous unresolved technical and design issues that threaten its deliverability.

‘The line does not go through the area where I work but it will cost every household in the land an average of £1,700. Consistent with all the national opinion polls, the patients I have discussed it with are unimpressed by the £70 billion HS2 scheme.’

In 2012, the RCGP said it could be forced to sell off its new headquarters in London if a ‘worst-case scenario’ would see it evicted from the building by moves to expand Euston station as part of the HS2 rail link plans.