I am not surprised that so many people are against HS2...Because people are, on the whole, ignorant of the wider world outside their limited sphere.
If you look at the comments on the beeb's have your say bit, it is quite clear to me that the majority of people commenting believe that the project is 'only' about the following and hence should be opposed:-
a) It makes it 20 minutes quicker to Birmingham
b) It costs £32bn right now
c) It will only benefit businessmen who got us into the mess etc
d) It will wreck the Chilterns
They choose to ignore that it is plonking passengers onto a high-speed line in order to free up the WCML corridor for freight and stopping services that serve MK etc. Freight traffic that will bring economic and environmental benefits such as taking lorrys off of the motorways and reducing wasted emissions from traffic congestion...Plus a train pulling 30 odd containers is more economic than 30 trucks.
The negative naysayers choose to ignore the fact that the UK is in competition globally for inward investment and without a robust infrastructure, risks being bypassed in favour of countries that grasp the nettle and don't wish to be seen as museum nations.
They choose to ignore the very real benefits of linking one of the worlds greatest cities to its UK hinterland, in order to share the wealth more fairly throughout the UK. If you bring Birmingham within an acceptable commuting time to London then you will drastically change the prospects of the West-Midlands. Sub 1 hour on a train, centre to centre, would be brilliant.
As it is, many of the sheeple repeat only what scare stories they read about or see on the news...They lack the cognitive ability to independently investigate and come to a reasoned conclusion. Hence minority views are whipped up into a self fulfilling feeding frenzy. Witness the minority that brought roads to prosperity to an end because they opposed linking Southampton Docks to the wider world with something more than a congested old dual-carriageway and/or a crawl through a congested town centre.
During this last round of environmental protest, the media even chose to elevate a protester from the ranks and parade him in front of the cameras. Just think of the further damage to the prosperity to this country if the person they chose was actually able to be funny on his one and only Have I got News for You appearance.
Goods sat in traffic = a loss to the economy that the consumer bares whether directly or indirectly. When put like that I think most of the 'Brighthouse' wonders would baulk at the cost of relying on our ageing and congested infrastructure if they saw just how many £s it added onto the cost of their fags and flatscreen TVs.