The high speed rail link from London to Birmingham (HS2) has a new proposed route in London – right under Fellows Rd and the Chalcot Towers. Recently I attended a briefing and Q&A session by HS2 at the Town Hall. In case you are not aware there was a previous proposed route along King Henry’s Rd in March this year. The new route has potential implications within our area for the Chalcot Towers, the Fellows Rd Estate and for other residential properties on Adelaide Rd, Fellows Rd, King’s College Rd, Merton Rise, Winchester Rd and Eton Avenue. Some key points from the meeting:
- HS2 say the reason for the modified route is that it is difficult to find suitable locations for the large ventilations shafts for the tunnel – when these are located, they tend to dictate the details of the route. These shafts are large (25m2, usually 2 stories above ground level), but are apparently quite quiet. In our area they propose to put one on the south side of Adelaide Rd, on railway land below the nature reserve. You may have picked up on commentators suggesting the reason for the move is in fact the storm of protest the old route met from celebs and QCs in Primrose Hill. The new route in Camden does run largely under council estates!
- There would be 2 tunnels, with a third branching off in our area to link with the HS1 terminus at St. Pancras. The tunnels are planned to be 30-50m deep, which is apparently deeper than any London tube line. HS2 are say they are confident that when the service is operating it would not be noticed due to the depth and the high-tech construction techniques used. I’m told that the HS1 tunnel under London has had no valid complaints. This will of course be something to keep asking about! If it is to go ahead on this route, we would want a legally binding guarantee.
- The construction of the tunnels may cause some noise/vibrations. HS2 say it could cause some minor cracks of a cosmetic nature, although this point was a bit unclear and will be something to focus on during the consultation (see below). I asked how long these vibrations might last for any particular location. The tunnelling goes at about 10m/day and any particular address might be affected for 2-3 days per tunnel.
- The timetable for the whole thing is as follows: consultation to start in Feb 2011, decision on route taken by government late 2011, detailed plans/impact assessment put together in 2012, Bill before Parliament in 2013, Royal Assent 2015, construction 2017-2025.
The proposed route can be found on this link:
There will also be further pre-consultation meetings like the one recently if there is demand. Any concerned community or residents groups will be entitled to attend. Please let us know if you are interested. In the meantime we may be able to get answer to any questions or concerns you raise.
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