Transport secretary Justine Greening has today given her backing to an amended High Speed 2 scheme that includes additional tunnelling through the Chilterns and other sensitive locations at an extra cost of £700M.
The entire Y network serving London to Birmingham and then Manchester and Leeds, with intermediate stations in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, is now expected to cost £32.7bn — the scheme would pay for itself with fare revenues of £34bn over 60 years but is also expected to generate benefits of up to £47bn, Greening said.
The first leg between London and the West Midlands, including a connection to Heathrow airport and High Speed 1 is expected to be ready by 2026 and the two Y legs further north to Manchester and Leeds could be open in 2032/2033.
Changes to the route
- A longer, continuous tunnel from Little Missenden to the M25 through the Chilterns
- A new 4.4 km bored tunnel along the Northolt Corridor to entirely avoid major works to the Chilterns Line and impacts on local communities in the Ruislip area
- A longer green tunnel past Chipping Warden and Aston Le Walls, and to curve the route to avoid a cluster of important heritage sites around Edgcote
- A longer green tunnel to significantly reduce impacts around Wendover, and an extension to the green tunnel at South Heath
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