THE Government has announced plans for a High Speed Rail London to Birmingham route, which will run through Ruislip.

The plans were unveiled today by Lord Adonis- which aim to revolutionise rail in the UK.

A 250mph rail route aims to reduce journey times between London and Birmingham to just 46 minutes.

The London base would be at London Euston station, with a Crossrail Interchange planned for Old Oak Station in Paddington.

This Interchange could potentially open up the line for a 'Heathrow Loop'- although this is only a suggestion at this stage.

Proposals for a 'Heathrow Loop' would see 29 miles of underground tunnelling, underneath busy areas such as West Drayton and Yeading.

The Department of Transport report states: "After departing from the Crossrail Interchange station, HS2 Ltds recommended route would leave London via the Ruislip area, making use of an existing rail corridor.

"It would then cross the Chilterns in the Aylesbury direction, partly in tunnel before following the route of the A413 past Wendover."

"The only credible option for routing the main high speed line via Heathrow would entail a near-continuous tunnel of around 29 miles almost the length of the Channel Tunnel as well as increasing the journey time by around three and a half minutes compared to HS2 Ltds recommended route."

"Even if only a spur to the airport was provided, which would substantially reduce the capacity of the line to central London as Heathrow trains would terminate at the airport, the tunnelling required would lead to costs in excess of 1.5 billion."

The line which has been confirmed from London to Birmingham, will race through Ruislip, along the Chiltern Line, before heading through The Chilterns, and up to Birmingham.

MP John Randall believes work to widen the line could be substantial and affect houses in South Ruislip.

He said: "What we do not want is for the area to become blighted like the villages which are feeling the effects of the Third Runway (Harmondsworth and Sipson)

"We have got to be slightly careful how we approach this as it is going to happen, we must a find a way that everything is done right, and residents are treated well.

"A tunnel could have a big effect on the areas because of the work and the noise, and I will be monitoring the situation closely."

The plans have not been widely received by a number of parties, particularly residents group NoTRAG (No Third Runway Action Group), who feel the plans do not go far enough, and if were expanded, could mount a credible case for opposing Heathrow expansion.

Geraldine Nicholson, the Chair of NoTRAG , said, "If the Government thought it was going to get plaudits from us for its plans, it is sorely mistaken.

"What we want to see is a high speed rail scheme that goes all the way to Scotland; a scheme that is designed to make it easy for people to use the train instead of the plane. We will oppose any scheme that does not involve the dropping of the third runway.

"If the Government thought it would win green brownie points with this announcement, it has failed dismally."

Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have said that they favour high-speed rail instead of a third runway. Both parties have said they will drop plans for a third runway if they win the forthcoming General Election.

View the plans here

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