A Tunnel for Northolt?
On 23 April 2013 it was announced that HS2 Ltd will propose that the rail route should now be tunnelled between Old Oak Common and Northolt, rather than running on the surface. A study recommended that a tunnel would be the best option for this specific section of the route because a surface route would cause more disruption to traffic, cost as much or more than a tunnel and would take 15 months longer to build. It would also have greater design complexity, including the need to replace both spans of the Hanger Lane gyratory system.
If this new tunnel is approved, it will mean that the HS2 route will run in a continuous bored tunnel all the way from Old Oak Common to West Ruislip – making it the longest tunnel on the route at 14km.
HS2 Ltd said: “The study we commissioned found that for this specific section of the line, the cost of a tunnel would be comparable with a route on the surface without the need to replace bridges and divert associated utilities. The proposed tunnel will be included as the preferred option in the draft Environmental Statement for the first phase of HS2, so the community and stakeholders will have the opportunity to respond to this proposal as part of the consultation in coming months.” A link to the HS2 Ltd statement about this can be found here.
If this new tunnel plan is taken forward a portal will not be needed at Mandeville Road.We are still waiting to hear when the Environmental Consultation will start. It is due to be “Spring/early Summer” 2013.