Opponents of a planned high speed rail line between London and Birmingham have vowed to continue their fight despite a series of changes to the planned route.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has announced a series of changes designed to reduce the impact of the 250mph trains on residents living along the route.
They include lowering the line and moving it further away from the village of Stoneleigh, Warwickshire; lowering the line near Burton Green, Warwickshire, and moving it further away from Lichfield, Staffordshire.
But the Government faces opposition from politicians in all parties to the proposals.
MP Jim Cunningham (Lab Coventry South) told him: “His comments will be little comfort to people in Warwickshire”.
Conservative MPs including Dan Byles (Con North Warwickshire) and Michael Fabricant (Con Lichfield) have warned they are not convinced high speed rail lines are needed at all.
But Centro, the West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority, urged the Government to continue supporting high speed rail.
Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip said: “This is good news for the West Midlands. High speed rail will transform the region’s economy, creating new jobs and boosting economic activity.”
And Mike Whitby, Conservative leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “High Speed Rail will serve as a catalyst for inward investment, employment and growth, ensuring we take full advantage of economic recovery.”
However, Alice Barnard, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: “Despite rural people being most affected by the proposed HS2 route, communities living in the countryside will see no local benefits.
"There are no proposed stations outside London and Birmingham. This confirms that high speed rail travel will be accessible for people living in urban areas but the impact felt by those living in the countryside."
Mr Hammond confirmed that the Government remained committed to building a line between London and Birmingham, which will eventually be extended north to Leeds and Manchester.
Trains will come into a new city centre station at Fazeley Street, and a second new station near Birmingham Airport.
A public consultation on the preferred route will start in February next year and construction is due to start in 2016.
Mr Hammond said: “Central Birmingham would be brought within 49 minutes of London – potentially less for non-stopping trains – and within 1 hour 5 minutes of Leeds.
“The released capacity on the West Coast Mainline would offer the possibility of commuter frequency fast services to London from places like Coventry and Milton Keynes.”
He added: “As part of the consultation process, roadshows will be held along the length of the preferred route from London to the West Midlands to ensure that local people have the opportunity to find out more about the project and to discuss specific concerns with those involved in developing the scheme.”
* Maps of the proposed High Speed Rail route can be found at the DfT website here.