I travel by train in the U.K. a great deal and also have known and loved the Chiltern Hills which are on the HS 2 route for 50 plus years. The project is daft. You can already get from London Euston to Birmingham in 1 hour 23 minutes 3 times per hour. This route could be made more frequent by making modest improvements to the West Coast main line. The Chiltern Hills are a uniquely beautiful English landscape enjoyed by millions each year. Visitors bring huge benefits to the local economy too.
For a quarter of the 32 billion cost of HS2 we could make immense improvements to the existing Inter City network as well as providing much needed new trains and improved journey times for the many people who commute into large provincial cities like Manchester, Sheffield. Leeds etc. We could also build a new westbound main lline from Heathrow Airport to Reading, giving direct train services from Heathrow to the West Country, Bristol, South Wales, Birmingham and the Midlands,
giving really fast journey times to these places without ruining beautiful countryside, and at the same time reducing congestion on some of the most congested motorways in the country