Coalition Approves HS2 Line
The UK’s Coalition government has decided to give the high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham the green light, and later they plan to extend the line to northern England. There had to be some changes to the route due to opposition from lawmakers. This will include more tunnels, including making the one in Chiltern Hills longer to preserve more of the area’s natural beauty and adding one in the Ruislip areas to cut back the impact on residents. This has meant that the project will cost £32.7 billion rather than £32.2 million.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening made the announcement on Tuesday, saying that she decided the country needs to embark on its most substantial transport infrastructure project since the construction of the motorways. The government will support the development and launch of a new high-speed rail line for the nation, giving their commitment to provide 21st century infrastructure and connections to put groundwork in place for long-term and sustainable economic growth, which she noted follows the footsteps of 19th century pioneers.
In reference to the changes made to the route to appease the opposition, Greening says that over half of the line will have cuttings or tunnels. The London to Birmingham phase of the line is due to open in 2026, and the Leeds and Manchester sections will be completed in 2032-33. The Coalition says the line will boost capacity on the entire rail network, will reduce journey times, ease overcrowding and give northern cities better access to the capital’s economy.