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Chilterns Long Tunnel

A new study launched on Thursday 26 March proves the viability of a 24.2km tunnel, which would preserve the protected Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The study, produced by Peter Brett Associates, was commissioned by Chiltern District Council, together with Aylesbury Vale District Council, Buckinghamshire County Council and the Chilterns Conservation Board.

The new report proposes an alignment which:

  •  Is designed as a bored tunnel from first principles rather than a surface route part of which subsequently became a tunnel route
  •  Mitigates the consequences of the surface alignment
  •  Recognises the variable geology and topography of the Misbourne Valley
  •  Mitigates so far as is possible the impact on Wendover and provided a more sensitive response to the location of the northern portal
  •  Avoids the steep summit climb and a tunnel exit at the top of the Chilterns hills thus making it a more economic route to operate
  • Recognises the design criteria used by HS2 Ltd and
  • Adopts the safety requirements of the new EU Commission Regulation concerning a technical specification for interoperability relating to 'safety in railway tunnels' of the rail systems of the European Union (European Regulation 1303/2014)

The report concludes that:

  • A long tunnel is technically feasible and protects the designated landscape of the Chilterns AONB
  • It has far less impact on the Misbourne Valley than the Government's proposed scheme and will be a better route operationally
  • An underground 'firefighting' point (station) can now take the place of the previously required mandatory open-air gap on tunnels over 20km

Permanent and irretrievable loss of environment on the government's current proposed route is rated 'very high' - and as this latest report demonstrates, is avoidable. As the report states, the technology is available and the engineering solutions exist.

pdf icon Chilterns Long Tunnel full report [2Mb]

word icon Chilterns Long Tunnel report summary [425kb]