TWO reports which examine the options for digging a tunnel for HS2 in the Wendover area of Buckinghamshire instead of a viaduct are to be kept under wraps, according to a Department for Transport minister.
The decision was revealed to Lord Berkeley, in response to a request for copies of both reports. One was prepared by SDG, Nichols Group and KPMG, while the other was commissioned from the Infrastructure Projects Authority.
Lord Berkeley asked on 26 November for copies of the documents to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
However, Baroness Sugg refused, telling him: ‘The reports in question were referred to in a letter from Nusrat Ghani MP to the Right Honourable David Lidington MP on 15 October 2018.
‘The Government will not be placing copies of the reports referred to in the Libraries of either House. These reports are internal to the Department for Transport and are not intended for publication.’
The contents of the letter to Mr Lidington from Nusrat Ghani have also remained unpublished.
Mr Lidington is a supporter of an extended tunnel near Wendover rather than the proposed viaduct.
In June 2015 he told the HS2 Select Committee: ‘Small Dean Viaduct would be just to the south of Wendover, shortly before the railway line would enter the proposed green tunnel under current plans. This viaduct would be 14 metres high. The pantograph would take that up to 20 metres, mast to 22 metres.
‘Quite frankly that would dominate the landscape and the lack of existing good quality noise mitigation combined with the height would cause noise blight across a wide area to the south of the village.’