HS2 raises the prospect of an unacceptable treble hit. Firstly, essential farmland is being lost to the line; secondly, larger areas which have been highlighted for habitat creation and tree planting will take valuable food-producing land out of production. And thirdly, far more new habitat is being imposed than is being lost on a questionable 'bigger is better' principle.
At the moment, some transport modes, such as rail, are not yet fully integrated into the travel ecosystem. Travellers don't always know there is a potential train service for their particular journey, because it's just not visible at that particular point of the travel selection process. Rail operators need to make their information available and connect themselves with other transport modes in order to provide the customer with genuine choice.
HS2 Ltd wants to plough through the centre of Camden, taking over the bridges and shutting down businesses for years to create a link with the old high speed railway to Europe. On paper, building this line means road closures, bridge widening, transport disruptions. In practice, it could mean the end of Camden as we know it.
This particular Bill is something of a behemoth... with a colossal 50,000 page environmental impact assessment to accompany it. Within those 50,000 pages lies the future of Camden Town. Every single road closure, bridge widening and business affected is supposed to be taken into consideration within the report. It's why it's so big. However, we don't think they've taken the impact on Camden seriously enough.
HS2 needs to link up to our existing high speed rail line that takes us to France. The current proposal for this would mean a link that cuts directly through the heart of Camden Town... 90% of Camden Lock market falls within 30 meters of site, as does 95% of Stables market. Hawley market would effectively be closed, with other iconic markets devastated by the project.
Whilst I've worked in the rail industry for over a decade, I am first and foremost a rail traveller. And although I am currently living in Madrid, I am a regular traveller on the European rail network. So when I first heard about the proposed HS2 high-speed rail plans, one of my first thoughts was "what will this do for me?"
Anyone hoping that this week's reshuffle would inject some much needed decisiveness into the UK's top transport and infrastructure projects will have been in for disappointment. The Department for Transport has had two of its ministers replaced, and the Shadow Transport team has had a change of leader...
While I have some concerns about the detail of the project, in principle I remain supportive. This is not because I am infatuated by un grand projet. HS2 is a refreshing example of long-term strategic planning in this country which too often in the past we have shied away from and is one of the reasons why many parts of our rail system are currently overcrowded.
It is a simple fact that the current west coast mainline, the main rail artery connecting London with Birmingham and Manchester, cannot cope with the projected future demand of passengers and that there has to be major investment in new capacity... The return on investment in High Speed Rail will not just be measured in ticket sales over the first decade of operation, but in the longer term economic investment it will bring into the areas that benefit from it.