Committee backs call for redesign of HS2 viaduct
Construction for Colne Valley area should go to competition
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