HS2 confirms tunnel extension
A new extension to the Chilterns tunnel proposed as part of the HS2 rail project will benefit people living in and around South Heath, Hyde Heath and Great Missenden.
At the end of August the Government agreed to propose an amendment to the High Speed 2 (HS2) hybrid Bill to extend the deep-bored Chilterns tunnel 2.6km to a new portal just past South Heath.
By continuing the main tunnel all the way past the village, a separate ‘green tunnel’, designed to reduce noise and help blend the line into the landscape, would no longer be needed.
As well as a reduction in the scale and duration of local construction activity, the new proposals would also preserve 12 hectares of local woodland.
Transport Minister, Robert Goodwill said: “We are committed to listening to the communities that live along the HS2 route as we deliver the railway’s important national benefits.
“These new proposals will protect woodland and mean less disruption for people living nearby. It is essential that we take their views into account so that we build this vital railway in the best way possible.”
The changes are in line with the recommendations of the hybrid Bill Select Committee, a group of MPs tasked with considering petitions against the Bill.
This news follows Parliament instructing the group to review over 120 changes as an outcome of stakeholder management.
Alison Munro, HS2 Managing Director of Development said: “HS2 is determined to keep the environmental impact of the project as small as possible and we recognise the importance of listening to stakeholders and local communities as we continue to develop the scheme.
“Major infrastructure projects like HS2 will always be about striking a balance between engineering, cost and environmental impacts.”