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Green light for HS2 Chilterns tunnel extension

The government has proposed an amendment to the HS2 hybrid Bill to allow the deep-bored Chilterns tunnel to be extended by 2.6km, ending just past South Heath.

The plan would mean that a separate tunnel, designed to reduce noise and blend into the landscape, would no longer be needed.

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.”

HS2 managing director of development Alison Munro added: “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. We will remain open to potential design improvements and I believe today’s proposals would deliver a successful long-term solution for South Heath, Hyde Heath, Great Missenden and the wider area.”

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