The Wendover Society: "Alternate tunnel would save £750m" compared to HS2 LTD's proposed plans

Artist's impression of "the Wendover Wall"

Artist's impression of "the Wendover Wall"

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The Wendover society has completed an independent costing on a tunnel that they claim would save £146 million in comparison HS2 Ltd’s proposed ‘Wendover Wall’.

The Wendover society has completed an independent costing on a tunnel that they claim would save £146 million in comparison HS2 Ltd’s proposed ‘Wendover Wall’.


Rail expert Lord Berkeley has had the mined tunnel proposal evaluated, and has stated in the recent Lords Grand Committee debate that he fully supports the plan. It is estimated it would save £750 million on a whole life basis (including the long-term costs of maintenance) compared to current HS2 Ltd proposal.


The costing states: “This ‘Whole Life’ figure reflects the considerable savings over time from the reduced maintenance associated with a mined tunnel, and elimination of the two viaducts and associated embankments and cuttings which are expensive to build and maintain.”


The Wendover Society has about 500 members, and has more than 50 years’ experience trying to protect the charm and scale of Wendover. The society has explored the possibility of using a mined tunnel at Wendover, to mitigate the worst effects of the HS2 scheme on the area.


The report suggests: “Large numbers of properties and people will be exposed to high noise levels if HS2 Ltd is allowed to proceed with its proposals.”


OTB Engineering firm said: “A 4.3km mined tunnel is a very suitable alternative to the 1.2km cut and cover tunnel with two 500-metre viaducts and associated cuttings and embankments” – as proposed by the HS2 Ltd.


“With such a tunnel, Wendover would be screened from the operational noise of the trains, it would also prevent much of the expected severe construction impact, and the Chilterns AONB could remain largely intact close to Wendover. In addition, the mined tunnel would also replace two ugly viaducts proposed for the Wendover area, and the extra cost of the mined tunnel would be effectively zero.”


A statement from the society said: “We are calling on the Government to undertake a review of the new mined tunnel proposal, implementation of which would go some way towards fulfilling the duty of public bodies to ‘have regard to the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the area’.”