Thousands of people have signed a petition attempting to bring High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) project to a halt.
Anti-HS2 campaigning group, called Stop HS2 , launched the UK parliament e-petition on Thursday (September 21.)
On Tuesday (September 26) it was trending on the website and had already gathered 8,385 signatures.
If a petition gets 10,000 signatures, the government has to respond and at at 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.
The petition describes HS2 as a “vanity project” and calls for it to be “immediately cancelled.”
The petition’s founder, Joe Rukin, said: “HS2 is a vanity project, lobbied for by the firms who will make billions out of building it, at a time of continued austerity and cuts to essential services.
“Independent economists, rail experts and environmentalists have all heavily criticised the project, but Governments have refused to listen.
“HS2 is not a 'magic wand' to cure the North-South divide.
“All the international evidence shows it will reinforce the dominance of London and increase regional divisions.
“In 20 years HS2 would deliver capacity where it is needed the least, with the lowest flexibility, at the greatest cost, whilst more beneficial rail projects have already been cancelled.
“The official cost of HS2 has almost quadrupled since it was proposed in 2008, and it will carry on rising unless it is immediately cancelled.”
The petition demands to “cancel HS2 immediately and repeal the 2013 and 2017 High Speed Rail Acts.”
Anti-HS2 campaigner Mike Haville said: "I know there have been a lot of HS2 petitions, but they all have been disjointed.
"With this one we want to make the government reply and hopefully, with enough momentum, debate HS2."
The HS2 project is due to be completed in 2026 and sets out to connect London, the West Midlands, Leeds and Manchester via high-speed rail.
The project has been steeped in controversy since it was first announced in 2010.
Residents have claimed the construction of the new line will cause disruption.
Trains will proceed into Buckinghamshire over the Colne Valley viaduct which threatens to close the Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre .
In 2015 Hillingdon campaigners, including the council, Stop HS2 campaigners and residents, had their petition for an extended tunnel through Ickenham and across the Colne Valley, as an alternative to the Harefield viaduct rejected.
While the government has launched a Homeowner Payment Scheme (HOP Scheme) to give cash payments to people living in areas where the railway is not in a tunnelled section, the project’s huge cost is another point of contention.
Government calculations show that costs per mile of HS2 are expected to reach £403million, making it the most expensive railway in the world.
In July 2017 the government awarded contracts worth a total of £6.6billion to companies to build HS2 , including crisis-hit firm Carillion.
Construction is expected to begin next year on the London to Birmingham route, with work due to start on tunnels, bridges, embankments and viaducts, creating 16,000 jobs across the country.
The deadline for the petition to “cancel HS2” is March 21 2018.
Anyone wanting to sign the petition can visit here .
A Department for Transport spokesman said:"HS2 will become the backbone of our national rail network – supporting growth and regeneration and helping us build an economy that works for all.
"As HS2 will transform our rail network for the 21st century, it will create more seats for passengers and free up space on the existing network – enabling more commuters services on some of our busiest suburban railway lines, leading to better journeys for passengers.
"In west London, passengers will massively benefit from the new Old Oak Common station, with great connections to Crossrail, Heathrow, the North via HS2 and the West of England."
Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.
You can set up your app to see all the latest news and events from your area, plus receive push notifications for breaking news.