As you may know there is a proposal to build a longer deeper tunnel (LDT) from the far side of Whitmore to the exit of the currently proposed tunnel at Bar Hill. Sir Bill Cash MP has been instrumental in promoting this idea with Chris Grayling, the Minister of Transport, who has instructed HS2 to examine this proposal further and we are assured that HS2 are working on this currently, with a report to be released hopefully towards the end of the year.
The current estimate of the costs of this tunnel over and above the costs of the current proposals is £100 million. HS2 is working to try and reduce this differential, and the fact that the considerable costs of constructing and dismantling the boring machine will only happen twice if the LDT twin bore is accepted as opposed to four times if the Whitmore and Bar Hill tunnels are constructed separately, has to be considered. There are other cost savings to be made too if the LDT is accepted over the current proposals.
There are many obvious advantages to the LDT, not least of which is the reduction in the devastation the construction and operation of HS2 will make to the Whitmore, Manor Road and Madeley area and also to communities and households along the routes of the A525 to Woore, the A51 and A53 and the environment. There will also be difficulties during construction for places further afield such as Loggerheads, Ashley and others in accessing schools etc. and there will be a general adverse impact on the travel within the area and on businesses too.