Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Monday, 20 December 2010

Changes to planned high-speed rail route unveiled


Changes to the proposed route of the HS2 high-speed rail line will "significantly mitigate" the impact of the 250mph trains on communities along the London-Birmingham line, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has claimed.

In a Commons statement on 20 December 2010, Mr Hammond insisted the scheme would help tackle the north-south divide by slashing travelling times to and from the capital.

But he acknowledged that some along the preferred route would see their property values fall and announced that officials were working on a compensation scheme.

Under proposed changes to the route between Amersham and Wendover in Buckinghamshire Mr Hammond said there were opportunities for a "green bridge" over the cutting and a longer "green tunnel".

Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said: "I suspect you have probably got more support on this side of the House for your proposals than on the benches behind you."

She added: "It would be ridiculous for our future support for high-speed rail not to be at the heart of that review when it's a £30bn commitment on future Parliaments - and it will be.

"In the meantime you have the support of these benches as you move forward with the next stage of planning the route."


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