‘Twenty foot wide’ sinkhole opens up above a tunnel built for HS2 sparking fury from campaigners who say it is ‘time to stop digging’
- A spokesperson for HS2 confirmed that a ground movement had occurred
- Campaigners opposed to the project have said it is ‘time to stop digging’
A ’20ft wide’ sinkhole has appeared over a tunnel which was built for HS2 – sparking backlash from campaigners.
The high-speed railway project has drawn criticism from protesters who are now saying it is ‘time to stop digging’ after the hole was discovered above part of the Chiltern tunnel near Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire.
A spokesperson for HS2 Ltd confirmed that a ground movement had occurred within a field above a stretch of railway in Bazzards Field, south west of the lake.
‘Investigations are ongoing, but this is likely to be linked to pre-existing ground conditions above the tunnels. The site has been sealed off and there is no risk to the public,’ the statement read.
The 10-mile Chiltern tunnel is the longest on the project, which is understood to have cost more than £40billion, and is being built to improve transport links between the north of the country and London.
The hole was discovered by campaigners who have called on the project to be halted
Workers sealed off the ’20ft’ hole after they were alerted to the incident
Construction staff were seen inspecting the site after the hole appeared
Local residents were told of the incident via email from HS2 Ltd’s contractor Align on Saturday evening, which read: ‘It’s quite sizeable – around six meters in diameter and five meters deep. These are approximate measurements.’
According to the spokesperson, ‘the landowners have been informed and livestock moved to a safe place’.
HS2 confirmed that the location in question is above a portion of completed tunnel and tunnelling operations are ongoing.
Large excavation equipment has been paving the way for the project‘s route under the Chiltern hills for the past 21 months.
The sinkhole is located close to Shardeloes Lake near Amersham
Ariel views show the depth of the hole, which as been sealed off and is of ‘no risk to the public’
There are two tunnels located between the M25 and South heath, and both have a total of five shafts which can be used for emergency access or ventilation near the location of the sinkhole.
Both tunnels are an integral part of the first phase of the route linking London to the West Midlands.
The line is expected to be operational between 2029 and 2033.
One complete, the line will stretch to Manchester and potentially further.
Campaigners have been battling against the project’s plans to build on woodland for months.