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MPs Repeat Call For Longer HS2 Tunnel

Both David Lidington and Cheryl Gillan have asked to extend the plans through to Wendover, instead of having high embankments.

Published by the Mix96 News Team at 1:09pm 26th November 2015. 3-minute read.

MPs Repeat Call For Longer HS2 Tunnel

Two Buckinghamshire MPs have repeated their calls for a longer HS2 tunnel through the Chilterns.

Cheryl Gillan's asked the Chancellor about it and David Lidington talked to the HS2 Committee yesterday afternoon.

He told them it could save the taxpayer money:

"Savings in the cost of compensation, the absense in the need for viaducts and embankments, the cost of the currently-proposed Wendover 'green tunnel' and it would also lessen considerably the impact of property blight for homes and businesses."

David also told the Committee that HS2 Ltd's estimates for the cost of having a full tunnel right up to Wendover didn't match up with what industry experts have been saying.

They say it could cost anything from £50m to £213m and Mr Lidington said that even that higher figure is lower than the £300-400m figure HS2 Ltd. have given as the reason not to bore the tunnel under the Chilterns.

Meanwhile, in the Commons during the Autumn Statement debate, Rt Hon Cheryl Gillan MP pressed George Osborne to extend the tunnelling of HS2 to protect the whole Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The MP commented afterwards:

"The Chancellor has at last updated the budget figure for HS2, which means we know the total budget is now at £55.7 billion and I want to see the government saving money in time and costs by agreeing the fully bored tunnel under the Chilterns AONB."

Cheryl Gillan MP has also responded this week with her concerns about the HS2 project in the latest of the consultation processes, in which she also reiterated the need for full tunneling.

The MP for Chesham & Amersham has repeated this request in her responses this week to the Supplementary environmental statement and the Additional Provision 4 which calls for much more to be done in terms of environmental mitigation.

Cheryl added:

"There is still 8.8 km of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which is unprotected."

In her responses Cheryl Gillan also underlined her concerns about the brevity of the consultation period, particularly because of inaccuracies and lack of information, particularly relating to traffic assessments.

The information on the latter was only released after the deadline for the petitioning process.

A hearing was held in Parliament today by the Standing Orders Committee where the Deputy Speaker held HS2 to account over the missing information from some of their documentation.

Cheryl said:

"It is difficult to avoid coming to the conclusion that is shared by many of my constituents who feel the Hybrid Bill process is being forced along, leading to inaccuracies and confusion."

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