HS2 see light over tunnel plans for Ealing

Illustration of a HS2 train exiting a tunnel
First step: HS2 Ltd have agreed to cost out tunnelling the route through Ealing

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz and Ealing Council have welcomed news that a tunnel is being considered to reduce the impact of the High Speed 2 rail link on homes and businesses in the borough.

Alison Munro, the chief executive of HS2 Limited, has written to Ealing Council to confirm that it would carry out a study of the “current surface railway design and a tunnelled option through Ealing, including environmental impacts and cost.”

This follows calls by the council and the Ealing Anti-HS2 Group for a rethink of current proposals to run HS2 overground on tracks beside the Central line from Acton, before re-entering a tunnel just beyond Northolt.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and Environment said: “We are delighted that HS2 has taken our concerns on board. It made no sense that HS2 should propose to tunnel elsewhere in London without doing the groundwork in Ealing to see how much it would cost or what the impact would be.

“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.”

The study is expected to be completed later in the year and HS2 has promised to share the results with the council and members of the Northolt Community Forum.

Cllr Mahfouz added: “This is only the first step and we will keep the pressure on everyone involved.  We have clearly stated our position that the current proposals are unacceptable and we need a tunnel.”

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