Positive environmental effects

Green tunnels will mask parts of the new tracks. (c) Mac Hawkins / Union Railways Green tunnels will mask parts of the new tracks. (c) Mac Hawkins / Union Railways

HS2 will build on the best practice shown in HS1, the Olympics and Crossrail to minimise environmental impact during construction. The new network will see millions of air and road trips move to rail, reducing carbon emissions and congestion, and the space it will create for freight will move hundreds of HGVs per hour off the roads.

High speed rail is the most efficient way of transporting people between cities, requiring fewer stops (meaning less energy is expended on repeatedly braking and accelerating) and therefore utilising fewer kilos of petrol equivalent per passenger km.

HS2 can be part of a low carbon transport system in the UK that will allow us to meet the climate change targets established in the Climate Change Act.

Greengauge 21 report, ‘The Carbon Impacts of High Speed Two


  • Around 60 properties on the proposed Phase 1 route are likely to experience levels of noise which will qualify for noise insulation under the Noise Insulation Regulations (this is less than half that of the route originally proposed for consultation);
  • The number of properties that may experience a noticeable increase in noise on the preferred Phase 1 route has been reduced by a third, from 4,700 to around 3,100, compared with the consultation route.

Environmental Impact Assessment

The Government has commissioned an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before introducing the hybrid bill to authorise the London to West Midlands route. You can find out more about the work we have been doing to manage the environmental effects of HS2 in our Environment section of this website

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