Tunnelling Decision - April 2013

North Ealing Against HS2 Statement and Press Release

On St George's Day and Shakespeare's birthday, 23 April 2013, HS2 Ltd announced that it and the Department of Transport had decided to recommend that the section of HS2 route through LB Ealing be tunnelled, rather than on the surface.


The decision is entirely down to real local grassroots community activism, supported by LB Ealing Council, the London Assembly and Transport for London and North Ealing Against HS2 is delighted at a result which shows that local community stakeholders can make a huge positive difference to their lives and community. NEAHS2 Chairman, Alex Nieora described the result as 'a triumph for real grassroots local community led activism'.


North Ealing Against HS2 believes that there is no environmental or business case for HS2 - and that is not affected by this decision.


However, HS2 Ltd have conceded the financial and environmental outweighing benefits of tunnelling HS2 beneath LB Ealing - something which NEAHS2 *consistently clearly and regularly* called for over the course of the past two years as necessary if HS2 were to go ahead.


North Ealing Against HS2 maintains that HS2 Ltd should have carried out an adequate Environmental Impact Assessment ('EIA') as soon as it had established a preferred route option for Phase One of HS2.  


NEAHS2 maintains that had HS2 Ltd carried out an adequate EIA it would never have assumed an overground HS2 route for LB Ealing and this omission, procedural defect and assumption demonstrates incompetence at the highest levels within HS2 Ltd.


Therefore, while NEAHS2 welcomes HS2 Ltd's stated co-operation with NEAHS2 on planning a tunnel for the eventuality of HS2 going ahead, it stresses that HS2 Ltd have been incompetent and negligent in failing to carry out an EIA at the outset. NEAHS2 further stresses that this has caused unnecessary anxiety and stress for hundreds of residents and businesses in Northolt, Greenford, Perivale, Hanger Lane, and Acton during the course of the last two years.


NEAHS2 now intends to fully scrutinise the details of tunnel plan. While we are confident from our interaction with engineers and public officials that none of these factors should pose any risk to the people and land of the north of the LB Ealing we have questions relating to: tunnel spoil redeployment and its removal, the exact subterrainean horizontal alignment of the tunnel, its depth, the risk of any subsidence and the location and size of the three intervention and ventilation shafts. NEAHS2 will be pressing HS2 Ltd for these details at our Community Forum with HS2 Ltd on 8th May 2013 (see further here


Press coverage of the decision can be found here: 




'HS2 Scraps Ealing Bridge Demolition for Tunnelling' 




'HS2 Tunnel Victory for Ealing Residents'






'New Tunnel Plan for HS2'




Ealing Council Press Release


'HS2 Tunnel Victory for Ealing Residents'




HS2 Ltd


'HS2 Ltd Recommends Tunnel Under Ealing and Northolt' (note to HS2 Ltd: Northolt is part of Ealing unless you are not referring to LB Ealing, in which case this statement suggests HS2 has been rerouted)




Ealing Gazette


'HS2 will be Tunnelled Under Ealing'




'HS2 Tunnel Decision is a Victory for Ealing'



Evening Standard


'HS2 Tunnel Extended Under West London to Cut Chaos'




Ealing Today


'Victory for Campaigners'






'HS2 to Recommend Ealing and Northolt Tunnel'



Chiswick W4


'Ealing has Tunnel'


A link to historic news articles on tunnelling HS2 under LB Ealing may be found here  

A group of local people gather on land in Perivale which would have been annexed by HS2 Ltd to celebrate