Latest Rail News

17.06.15

Over 120 amendments to HS2 plans tabled by the government

Construction on the first phase of HS2 will begin in 2017, the government has confirmed, as it tables over 120 changes to the Hybrid Bill.

Included in the proposed amendments is an alteration to the route near Lichfield, which would see the railway pass under the A38, the West Coast Main Line and the South Staffordshire line rather than run over them on viaducts, as reported by RTM last year.

In the London area new amendments alter the proposals for the relocation of the existing Heathrow Express depot at Old Oak Common to Langley near Slough, instead of the North Pole East depot site currently proposed in the Bill.

Additionally, construction of new sidings to the west of the Old Oak Common station is proposed, which could facilitate a future connection between Crosssrail and the West Coast Main Line, if needed.

This change follows proposals that some Crossrail services could be extended to Watford Junction and Tring to relieve the pressure on Euston during reconstruction of the station for HS2.

The changes have been put forward following consultation with communities along the London to Birmingham route. They will now be considered by the select committee dealing with the Bill.

Transport minister Robert Goodwill MP said: “This motion is a major step forward both in terms of getting HS2 through Parliament and getting this vital railway built.

“The changes to the Bill show the government is listening to communities along the HS2 route. By working together, we can ensure this vital railway is designed in the right way, so we have spades in the ground in 2017 as planned.”

Many petitioners made a case for small-scale changes to the Bill. Also included in the amendments is the construction of a bypass for Chipping Warden in Northamptonshire, which will be of particular benefit to parents and pupils of the Chipping Warden Primary School on the A361 Byfield Road.

The motion is to be debated in Parliament and the amendments will then be deposited so that anyone affected by the changes will be able to petition against them. A consultation period will also start so that members of the public can have their say.

The DfT said that the Hybrid Bill remains should get Royal Assent by the end of 2016.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Peter   19/06/2015 at 17:42

Still no tunnel under the Chilterns AONB, probably to be the most desecrated area on the route. The route runs along the ridge of the Chilterns, not in a 'transport corridor' as described. Why is the extended tunnel option not being implemented, when it is a small (though some experts have calculated it as cheaper) extra cost compared to the overall budget. The AONB is supposed to be protected for future generations, not sacrificed to save a few quid.

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