|HS2 to Look at Ealing Tunnel Option|
Chief executive of high speed train scheme gives in to local pressure
Campaigners against the high speed rail link which is planned to go through Acton, Ealing, Northolt, Greenford and Perivale are claiming a victory after Alison Munro, the Chief Executive of the project wrote to Ealing Council agreeing to consider the option of a tunnel for the line in the local area.
A spokesman for HS2 confirmed a letter had been sent to the Council and told us, 'The details of the tunnel plan for this area will be published later this year and presented to the local community forum.'
The plan currently envisages a tunnel from Euston to Old Oak Common with the trains travelling over ground next to the existing Central line tracks between Ealing and Northolt.
HS2 have now agreed to look at a tunnelled option for this stretch of the line with environmental impacts and costs being taken into account.
Alex Nieora, Chairman - North Ealing Against HS2, said of the development, " It’s a step forward but we want Ealing council to scrutinise any figures HS2 Ltd come up with.
"HS2 Ltd might come up with plans and costing that are way off the mark. To use a somewhat smaller scale but nonetheless good analogy TfL once claimed it would cost 10m pounds to install a lift at Greenford station. Ealing Council produced its own estimate and came up with £1.5m pounds."
Previously, Mayor Boris Johnson has stated that he would be unwilling to give his support to the project unless the entire London section was underground.
Cllr Bassam Mahfouz, Transport cabinet member for Ealing welcomed the news saying, “We are delighted that HS2 is listening to the common sense approach we have taken following the disappointing announcement from the government earlier this year that HS2 was going ahead. It made no sense that HS2 should be tunnelled everywhere else in London, but in Ealing HS2 had not even done the groundwork to see how much it cost, or what the impact would be. We’ve been working with them to help them see the light that a tunnel needs to be seriously considered and is the clear preference of residents from Northolt, Greenford, Perivale, Ealing and Acton to alleviate the serious issues they face under the current proposals.”
August 16, 2012