Part of a new high-speed railway network, HS2, is set to be built very close to Warwick campus, with the line cutting between Coventry and Kenilworth, new plans have revealed.
The HS2 is a new and controversial high-speed railway network that the government has been planning for several years.
Its purpose will be to improve transport links from London to the West Midlands, as well as the major cities of Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds.
If the plan goes ahead, the trains will have the capacity to seat up to 1 100 passengers and operate at speeds of up to 250mph, which would make the HS2 the fastest railway in Europe.
According to the Department of Transport, this will cut the journey time between London and Birmingham from 1 hour 20 minutes to 50 minutes, as well as reducing the length of the journey between London and Manchester by an hour.
However, the project has sparked much controversy, due to expectations that it will have a detrimental impact on the local area, and the life of local residents.
The green area adjacent to campus through which the railway will run is considered a local beauty-spot. It is home to a plethora of wildlife including foxes and many species of bird whose habitats will be destroyed.
The Wildlife Trust stated that: “The project could result in significant cumulative impact on the biodiversity of Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull.”
Furthermore, the construction of the railway is estimated to take years, during which time up to five of the nine roads into Kenilworth will need to be closed, causing severe traffic and disruption. Some houses will also be demolished to accommodate the project.
Kenilworth Councillor, John Cooke, commented that: “The HS2 will be a disaster for our town.”
The first phase of the £56 billion railway project, connecting London and the West Midlands, is expected to be completed by December 2026, with the second phase, which will include links to Manchester and Leeds, not expected to be completed until 2032.