High Speed Rail network will have extra tunnels

Grant Prior 13 years ago
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Changes to the £33bn high speed rail network confirmed by the Government today will involve extra tunneling along the 127 mile first stage of the route to calm down local opposition to the plans.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said the network linking London to the West Midlands, Manchester and Leeds will include a direct link to Heathrow and to the European high speed rail network.

Hammond revealed changes to the Government’s proposed route for the first phase of the project – a new line between London and Birmingham.

Alterations have been made to half the route’s length with extra works including changes between Amersham and Wendover, where a green bridge and a green tunnel have been incorporated into the route design to reduce its visual impact.

The revised route will now be the subject of a full public consultation early in the New Year.

Enabling works for the initial London-Birmingham phase should be able to begin in 2015 with the high speed network opening in phases from 2026.

Hammond said: “Since taking this job I have reviewed all the possible route options in detail as well as travelling the length of the proposed line to talk directly to local people.

“As a result, I have made a number of changes to the route published by the previous Government. The route I am publishing today differs from the previous one for around 65 out of the 127 miles of its length.

“We are continuing to look at additional mitigation measures to lessen the impact of the line on those communities which it passes nearest to, as well as considering innovative options for providing assistance to those who may be affected by the proposed line. I hope the communities affected will play a full part in the consultation process.”

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