Huffpost UK uk

HS2: Decision On High-Speed Rail Delayed Until New Year

Posted: Updated:
Print Article
HS2 LINE
PA

A final decision on whether to go ahead with the controversial HS2 high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham is being delayed until the New Year, it has been disclosed.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening is understood to be considering whether a £500 million tunnel should be bored to minimise impact on the Chiltern Hills landscape.

The 100-mile rail link, due to be built between 2016 and 2026, aims to cut the London-to-Birmingham journey time to 49 minutes.

However, the £32 billion project has provoked fury among many Tory MPs - including Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan, who has reportedly threatened to resign over the issue.

Ms Greening had been expected to make a final announcement before parliament rises for its Christmas break.

But the decision has now been delayed until January as she has asked for a feasibility study to be carried out on a £1.5 million tunnel near Amersham, as well as an environmental probe.

The money would come from within the existing budget, as savings have been identified from other parts of the route.

Around the Web

BBC News - HS2: Government considers new high-speed rail tunnel

Chapter 4 HS2 Route Capacity and Reliability

Yes To HS2 (High Speed 2)

No HS2 decision delay on the cards - South Warwickshire News ...

Publication of rail white paper delayed until next year - Rail News ...