Parliament has given the first phase of HS2 the green light.

Royal Assent has been granted to the HS2 Phase 1 Hybrid Bill today (Thursday February 23).

It means work on the line between London and Birmingham will be finally begin after years of negotiation, mitigation and parliamentary debate.

But the news has been met with anger by protestors.

A graphic from the Woodland Trust showing the extent to which the HS2 route threatens ancient woodlands, both directly and indirectly.

Joe Rukin, Stop HS2 campaign manager, said: “"Quite simply this is a terrible project which will not deliver on it’s promises, come in years late, mile over budget, create havoc during construction and has disastrous environmental consequences.

Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2, said: "The fundamental problem with HS2 is that the case for it has never been examined properly.

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"So many times during the process of HS2 through Parliament, the government has said that the case will be examined later.

"And yet that has never actually happened.

Planned route for HS2

"What has actually happened is the Government is planning to spend many billions of taxpayers’ money on a speeded up version of nineteenth century technology."

But some have welcomed parliament's backing.

Andrew Dakers, chief executive of West London Business, said: "This is a hugely significant investment in infrastructure that will increase rail capacity in the UK, speeding up West London's connectivity with the rest of the country."

Map from the Environmental Impact Statement of the Hybrid Bill for HS2 phase two, November 2013 Artist's impression aerial view of Harefield lakes showing HOAC and the Colne Valley viaduct

On Monday (February 20) MPs debated amendments to the bill, which was the final part of the hybrid bill process.

Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan told the House of Commons: "Royal Assent will start a right royal assault on the people still living on and around the route.

"The disruption that will be a daily part of their lives during this project’s construction will go on for many years."

A late bid by peers to derail the multi-billion pound project failed 26-386 during a third debate of the bill earlier this month.

An artists impression of the Colne Valley Viaduct which has been given the go ahead by the Department for Transport

The bill then passed to the House of Commons for the final approval debate.

Royal Assent was the final hurdle before the HS2 Phase 1 Hybrid Bill becomes an Act of Parliament, and therefore law.

Jane Milton, Chair of Park Royal Business Group (PRBG), added: "With Royal Assent granted we hope HS2 will be able to accelerate their engagement with businesses and continue to use PRBG as a conduit to reach businesses where required.

"Above all HS2 must do everything in their power to avoid the closure of any of these businesses and keep them in the local area where possible."