Ealing battles to get HS2 to go underground


10,000 cars an hour can use the Hanger Lane gyratory

Related Stories

The high-speed rail link - HS2 - promises to cut journey times and relieve congestion on the West Coast Main Line.

But the full scale of what London would face during the construction is only gradually emerging.

While most of the route in London will be underground, most of west London's Ealing will have HS2 on the surface.

The impact of building it could be severe. Ealing Council says 18 bridges will have to be replaced due to HS2, and the Hanger Lane gyratory replaced.

Hanger Lane is one of the busiest intersections in London. Nearly 10,000 vehicles an hour pass through there at rush hour.

Clearly that would cause huge disruption.

In total the bridges that would be replaced will be:

  • Three footbridges (two overbridges, one underbridge);
  • 12 road (five overbridges, seven underbridges);
  • One rail overbridge;
  • One river underbridge;
  • One canal underbridge.

The council is, with some caveats, supportive of HS2 but wants Ealing to be tunnelled under.

Subterranean solution

It puts the cost at £150m.

Local campaigners do not want HS2 at all, but if they have to get it they want a subterranean solution.

HS2 Ltd obviously realises the council has a point and is now carrying out a tunnelling feasibility study.

What will be difficult for the company to answer is, why is nearly everywhere else in London deemed suitable for a tunnel and not Ealing?

If areas such as Ruislip, where residents campaigned successfully for the route to go underground, why not Ealing?

Ealing, run by a Labour council, is more densely populated than Ruislip, which is in the jurisdiction of the Tory-led Hillingdon Council, and many will begin to wonder if politics is coming into play.

A spokesman for HS2 Ltd said: "Our contractors are undertaking a study looking at the effects of building a tunnel through Ealing compared with using the existing rail alignment next to the Central Line - taking into account the environmental impact and cost.

"We expect to have the preliminary report from our engineering contractors by the end of October.

Ultimately the decision will be made by the secretary of state for transport.''

Certainly replacing 18 bridges in Ealing will cause significant problems for the whole area and those who travel through it.

Tom Edwards, Transport correspondent, London Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    I wish I did! I have NO vested interest and neither did the MPs on those committees that concluded in favour of HS2 and who said that alternatives would not offer the needed capacity. As for prices it's a case of supply and demand. Just as chiltern and virgin compete now HS2 cannot price itself too much higher than the slower alternatives and prices of each will be lower than if we had no HS2.

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    Not passengers John - although they will be paying through the roof for HS2 - but corporate chiefs with large shareholdings in the rail construction business. Perhaps like yourself.

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    And what on earth is all this stuff about "wouldn't benefit financially".

    Unless you mean that without the extra capacity and competition that HS2 will supply, millions of rail users will end up paying even higher rail fares and be starved of seats as our main lines fill up.

    Its those millions of rail users that will "benefit financially" as the extra supply reduces price pressure on demand.

  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    But all the committees concluded in favour of HS2 and that "alternatives would not supply sufficient capacity".
    As already said, phase 2 already includes the Heathrow spur to enable short haul to swop TO train. A surface spur from W.Ruislip down side of M25 to T5 cheaper than hub route and T5 by existing M25 junction. I am saying build it EARLY -by 2021 to enable Eurostar from Heathrow to Europe.

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    Oh come on - that's exactly what you said and are saying. There was plenty of argument in the HC select committee against HS2 - from those who wouldn't benefit financially from a new HSR line... And now you are saying Heathrow should be included to stop passengers travelling by train - I thought you wanted Heathrow free of short haul flights. You are also arguing now for Heathrow hub HSR route.


Comments 5 of 161



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.