Proposals to move the River Tame to allow for a high-speed rail line into Birmingham have been scrapped in favour of a tunnel.
HS2 will arrive in the city using a new tunnel running under the M6 viaduct at Bromford, it was announced today.
The original proposal, which followed the existing Derby and Birmingham railway line before running for about 1km under the M6 Bromford viaduct, required moving the River Tame south, building flood defences and relocating National Grid power lines and pylons.
After doing more detailed design work on the initial route it became clear that it would involve major remodelling of a busy junction between Bromford Lane and the A47 Heartlands Parkway and the re-alignment of part of Chester Road, both important north-south highways in east Birmingham.
A spokesman for HS2 said the move, which followed a public consultation under the route’s Design Refinement programme, will save school playing fields, public open space and community facilities.
He said “Birmingham will be at the very heart of High Speed 2 connecting our major cities and act as an engine for growth. The decision on the Bromford tunnel underlines the on-going work we are doing to design a railway fit for the 21st century and working with local people to minimise disruption.”
HS2 said the move saved open spaces at Firs and Bromford Community Centre.
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill made the announcement today in a written statement to the House of Commons.
Full details of the decision are in the Design Refinement Consultation: Decisions and Safeguarding Directions for Northolt and Bromford report that is available on the Department for Transport website.