The public can now have their say about whether the Government’s controversial plans for a £32 billion High Speed Rail link between London and the North represents good value for money. The Department of Transport public consultation is now open until July 29.

The proposed lines would slash journey times between London and other major cities, including Edinburgh and Glasgow, thus reducing the need for domestic air travel, and would link Heathrow with Birmingham and Manchester with significantly shortened journey times.

The Government points out that Britain’s railway system dates to the Victorian era and is not competitive with the rest of the world. It says the new rail links would generate £44 billion in added income.

However, proposals for the first phase, Euston-Birmingham (HS2), are having a bumpy ride. The route goes through much countryside including the Chilterns, a fact not mentioned in the consultation, and some people feel the money would be better spent on improving existing networks and that the increase in passengers has been exaggerated.

The consultation closes on July 29. Visit the website to have your say.