More than 45,000 people have signed a new petition to stop HS2.

Chris Packham set up the petition calling for work on the contentious rail project to stop “immediately” and to “hold a new vote to repeal the legislation”.

He wrote: “Our environment and economy are in peril.

ALSO READ: HS2's first freight train arrives in Bucks to start work on railway line

“HS2 is destroying nature and inflicting suffering on businesses and property owners.

“Government is investing in an inept and recklessly run project, offering poor value for money. HS2 will not reach Net Zero by 2050 nor help us level up the North.

“The pandemic has changed how we work forever and invalidated the business case.

ALSO READ: First HS2 tunnelling machines that will dig under the Chilterns arrive in UK

“Given the climate emergencies we face, and now the economic and pandemic crises – Parliament must vote to repeal the legislation.”

A spokesman for HS2 Ltd said: “As the Divisional Court noted in its judgement on Chris Packham’s case in April, HS2 has been democratically approved by MPs with resounding majorities in Parliament on several occasions, with the approval of the extension from the West Midlands to Crewe expected early in 2021.

“The case for HS2 – more capacity on our railways, better connectivity in the Midlands and North, and cutting carbon in transport - all remain important issues for the UK.

“Crucially, HS2 is already playing a pivotal role in helping Britain’s post pandemic economic recovery.

“We have begun construction and there are 13,000 people already working on the project, with hundreds of thousands of additional jobs supported through our supply chain.”

It comes after HS2’s first freight train arrived in Bucks last month to start work on the high-speed railway, and the first tunnelling machines that will dig under the Chilterns also arrived in UK.

Meanwhile, activists constructed a 30ft bamboo protest tower in the River Colne in nearby Denham Country Park.

The petition can be found at The government responds to all petitions with more than 10,000 signatures and is it considered for debate in Parliament at 100,000 signatures.