Com­mit­tee backs call for re­design of HS2 viaduct

Con­struc­tion for Colne Val­ley area should go to com­pe­ti­tion

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­

CAM­PAIGN­ERS against HS2 have been given a sig­nif­i­cant boost af­ter a com­mit­tee of MPs en­dorsed their case.

The HS2 se­lect com­mit­tee has an­nounced that it backs the case put for­ward by Bucks County Coun­cil, South Bucks Dis­trict Coun­cil, the Colne Val­ley Park, Lon­don Bor­ough of Hilling­don and Three Rivers Dis­trict Coun­cil for an in­ter­na­tional de­sign com­pe­ti­tion to be held for the Colne Val­ley viaduct.

The cur­rent plans in­volve a 3.4km viaduct to be put in place through the Colne Val­ley to al­low HS2 to pass through the area.

How­ever, cam­paign­ers have ar­gued that it should be re­designed.

They have now re­ceived the back­ing of the se­lect com­mit­tee, which vis­ited the area in Jan­uary.

The com­mit­tee has also raised con­cerns about the im­pact of con­struc­tion in the area and want re­as­sur­ance on the traf­fic im­pacts it will cause.

South Bucks Dis­trict Coun­cil leader Ralph Bagge said: “This is a very en­cour­ag­ing de­vel­op­ment for the dis­trict and the peo­ple who live in and en­joy the Colne Val­ley.

“It is an ex­traor­di­nar­ily beau­ti­ful area that is not just of lo­cal im­por­tance, but na­tion­ally as well, of­fer­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for out­door sport and recre­ation in a stun­ning, tran­quil land­scape with a wealth of bio­di­ver­sity. We hope the se­lect com­mit­tee will con­tinue to push HS2 Lim­ited for our pro­posed master plan and noise mit­i­ga­tion when they pub­lish their full re­port.”

County coun­cil leader Martin Tett was also pleased with the com­mit­tee's de­ci­sion.

He said: “A strong case for a Colne Val­ley Tun­nel was pre­sented and whilst we are dis­ap­pointed the Se­lect Com­mit­tee thought that the tun­nel would not elim­i­nate the im­pact of con­struc­tion works on Hilling­don and the sur­round­ing ar­eas we are de­lighted the com­mit­tee has told HS2 Lim­ited to go away and look at the Colne Val­ley Viaduct de­sign com­pe­ti­tion se­ri­ously.

“Our main aim is to work to­gether to en­sure that the Colne Val­ley is treated as the in­cred­i­ble area it is and that HS2, should it be built, not be al­lowed to dam­age it ir­repara­bly.”

BRIDGE OVER TROU­BLED WA­TER: An artist’s im­pres­sion of what the Colne Val­ley viaduct could look like. Cam­paigner are call­ing for the de­sign to be put out to com­pe­ti­tion. Above right, an artist’s im­pres­sion of the view in 2026 look­ing north to the Colne Val­ley viaduct over the Grand Union Canal at Den­ham Green

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