The Government’s high speed rail plans have been criticised as being too expensive by residents at a consultation road show in Birmingham.
Dozens of people turned up for the first in a series of public events aimed at dispelling the myths surrounding the new route to the capital.
The first phase of the 225mph route is expected to cost about £17 billion and would slash journey times from the heart of Birmingham to the capital to just 49 minutes as well as creating thousands of jobs.
A touring consultation event which rolled in to Hodge Hill on Monday allowed residents concerned the effect of the value of their homes, the environment or the noise of the 400-metre long trains to speak to experts.
But many said they were most worried about the huge cost.
“It’s a huge amount of money to plough in to a railway that will shave off 30 minutes from a train journey,” said David Hodson, aged 59, of Hodge Hill.
“Looking at the maps today, it’s also clear that there is going to be a huge amount of disruption for people in this area for several years when they have to do things like widen bridges.”
Richard Lloyd, aged 59, had travelled from Balsall Common, near Solihull, to view interactive maps at the event.
He said: “My concern is that we haven’t had all the information put in front of us about the environmental impacts and it’s very difficult to make a decision or take part in the consultation.”
Retired John Smith, aged 69, from Hall Green, said: “I think my grandchildren will be paying for this in 50 years’ time because it is so expensive and I don’t see how the Government can make its money back without charging huge fares for tickets.”
John and Sheila Farrelly, aged 64 and 63 respectively, listened to recordings of the sound that the new trains would generate and said they were concerned about the noise levels at their home less than half a mile from the proposed route.
“It is something that concerns us because we already get noise from the M6 where we live in Bromford,” said Mrs Farrelly.
Amanda Carter, head of consultation for the company behind high speed rail, HS2 Ltd, said the events were being held to allow people to form a clear opinion and engage in the project.
“None of this is set in stone,” she said. “As this project moves forward, there will be opportunities for residents to have their say at every stage.”
Further events are planned at The Link in Water Orton on Saturday June 11 and at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Friday June 17 and Saturday June 18.