ANTI-HS2 campaigners are pinning their hopes on a knockout blow from Mr Justice Ouseley on Friday.

They think their strongest case against the £33billion rail project comes from the environmental impact of the scheme and the flawed consultation, and they want the judge at the helm of the judicial review to back them up.

Joe Rukin spokesman for Stop HS2 said: “It’s clearly up in the air, but after spending seven of the nine days in court I would be very surprised if we did not win on the environmental case.”

He added: “Everyone [on the route of Phase Two] was completely disenfranchised because the 2011 consultation was also on the principal of HS2.

“Mr Justice Ouseley seemed particularly bothered about that. That was what really stuck in my mind.”

Anti-HS2 campaigners believe that many more people would have come out in opposition had it been known there would be a second phase – to Leeds and Manchester – which was to include a Heathrow spur, despite it since being dropped.

These two key strands of the argument – the environmental impact and the flawed consultation – are what campaigners hope will send HS2 Ltd back to the drawing board.

“We would most like the judge to say that it was not a rational decision to proceed. That is the only quote we want,” said Mr Rukin.

If the judge utters the words he wants to hear, it would deal a significant blow to the government, which is on a tight schedule to get a hybrid bill to enable HS2 to become a reality by summer 2015.

Mr Justice Ouseley will rule on the legal challenges to the government’s plans by four groups including Hillingdon Council, as part of the 51m group of local authorities. The court case finished just before Christmas.

Lottie Jones of Ruislip Against HS2 said: “Whatever happens I’m sure there will be an appeal and we were reassured by (Bucks County Council leader) Martin Tett’s comments that they will take this fight to Europe if they have to.”

n Check our website, on Friday for the ruling.