Feb 1 2013 By Danya Bazaraa
CAMPAIGNERS believe if the government scraps plans for the Heathrow spur of the HS2 rail link, it could improve the borough’s chances for the route being tunnelled underground.
The government announced this week that a decision on the spur of the £32.7billion high speed rail link from London to Birmingham would be shelved until after the Davies Commission’s report on future airport capacity.
That report is not due until the summer of 2015, after the next general election.
The plans take the spur from the main line at Breakspear Road, Ickenham and along the edges of Uxbridge and Cowley to Heathrow, affecting homes in Greenford, Northolt and Perivale, while the construction work would hit thousands with noise and traffic disruption.
But Alex Nieora, chairman of North Ealing against HS2 said that scrapping the Heathrow spur could leave more money available to tunnel the route underground, instead of the planned and highly disruptive overground line.
Mr Nieora said: “If Stansted becomes the hub airport and there is no spur to Heathrow, much of which would have been tunnelled, HS2 Ltd would have even more funds available to tunnel the route under Ealing.”
Northolt West End councillor and cabinet member for environment and transport, Bassam Mahfouz said: “Almost certainly people want to get to Heathrow. If HS2 Ltd wants to make a strong business case for the route, there needs to be the high-speed connection between the airports.”