The following information comes from a banner at one of the HS2 consultation roadshows. You can also download a PDF containing the information from the Department for Transport.
The 140 miles of the proposed HS2 route includes
- 56 miles in cuttings including deep cuttings
- 18 miles in tunnels, including green tunnels
- 53 miles at ground level or on embankments
- 12 miles on viaducts
- 34 miles alongside existing railway or road corridors.
Readers who check these figures will spot that the DfT’s numbers add up to 173 miles, not 140 miles.
The most likely explanation is that where HS2 is next to “existing railway or road corridors” it may also be next to a viaduct or an embankment etc. Many of these roads are single carriageways, like the A413 near Great Missenden.
So 52 miles of HS2 is either in tunnel or next to a road or rail corridor1. That’s 37% of the HS2 route.
Compare this to HS1, where 85% of the route was in tunnel or next to a railway or trunk road, including the M20 and the M26 and other duel carriageways.
A significant proportion of the route crosses tranquil open countryside, sites of special scientific interest and woodland at ground level or on embankments and viaducts – but can you easily find those numbers on the DfT website?
1: 18 miles of tunnel and 34 miles of road/rail = 52 miles