After months of protests from residents of the English countryside, the British government has finally conceded and altered its controversial high speed rail plans. A spokesman for the Department for Transport told The Tribune:
We completely understand the concerns of British people living in the route planned for the HS2 train. We know this will bring them considerable disruption with little benefit and the government has listened to each and every one of their concerns. We’ve not only listened, we’ve acted; a new line to be called HS2R is now at the advanced design stage and an official announcement will be made shortly.
The new route—suffixed R for “rural”—is additional to the already planned HS2 line and is what the Transport Department is calling “a local lifeline” stopping at numerous villages and small towns to give country-dwellers access to the modern train experience. The line will run 800 miles through pristine countryside from Bude, Cornwall to Market Rasen in Lincolnshire with station stops including South Molton, Old Cleeve, Burnham-on-Sea, Chipping Sodbury, Wootton Wawen, Yoxall, Snitterfield, Illston on the Hill and Little Bytham. The scenery en route will be stunning as tracks will be built through Exmoor, the Cotswolds and the Peak District, avoiding any black spots in the West Midlands. The Department for Transport will make a formal announcement in the next few weeks and The Tribune obtained this preview from a DoT spokesperson:
The British villager will be delighted to hear that they will no longer have to travel to London or Birmingham to travel in high-style at high speed. If you live in Belton-in-Rutland for example you will just walk to the stop behind the village green and board HS2R. Hundreds of other residents will experience similar benefits from this extensive new network. Just as with HS2 we will be fully fiscally transparent and environmentally honest as we roll-out HS2R.
Insiders believe that the timing of the announcement could also be Brexit-related European one-upmanship as none of the equivalent European services stop at small villages.