CONSERVATIONISTS have raised concerns about the High-Speed 2 rail plans announced by the Government.

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust says the proposed route, which has been extended to Manchester from London to Birmingham, could impact on vulnerable species across the county and Greater Manchester.

The Wildlife Trust’s advocacy officer Dave Dunlop said: “The proposed route through the city of Manchester has the potential to impact on internationally and nationally vulnerable species; most notably roosting bats and, perhaps, breeding sites of the rare Black Redstart.

“That said, it may also be possible to create or restore fragmented ecological networks through the urban area in association with the development of the line.”

The HS2’s Manchester to London journey will take just one hour and eight minutes. Manchester will also have two stations.

It means a passenger could potentially travel from Bolton to London in little more than an hour and 45 minutes if the connection at the new station next to Piccadilly is well timed.