One of the most interesting proposals to deal with the conundrum of HS2 was made over the summer by the Conservative Transport Group, who suggested amongst other things that the line should follow the route of the M40. This way it would use an existing transport corridor, and not harm the “tranquil Misbourne Valley” on its way through the Chilterns.
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Since my walk along the route of HS2 in July I’ve been very aware that my imagined rail line may not match the reality. So it was that one Friday morning I found myself in Rochester, about to walk over the North Downs to Maidstone along part of the existing route of HS1. I wanted to find out how the line has impacted on the Kent Downs AONB, which I’ll cover in the next blog post. But first I wanted to explore what HS1 means for a town like Rochester, now that the Javelin domestic service is up and running.