Tunnel meeting with Secretary of State for Transport

Here’s a brief note from Brian Cable about today’s meeting between Ray Puddifoot and representatives of Ruislip, Ickenham and Harefield residents concerning Monday’s meeting between the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, Nick Hurd, Boris Johnson, Zac Goldsmith, Ray Puddifoot.

We expect a formal statement soon and will publish it here.

In a nutshell:

The meeting with the Secretary of State was a success and he went from being lukewarm about reconsidering a tunnel extension to acceptance that it would be worth looking at again and saying that he would task HS2 with carrying out a new cost and technical analysis, in concert with Transport For London and the London Borough of Hillingdon. He will be writing to confirm this.

Ray was full of praise for Nick, Zac and Boris in the way they presented the case on our behalf.

Ray was equally unequivocal in saying that this had only come about as a result of the pressures brought by us in the communities and our representatives in exhibiting passion, determination, and putting forward well-informed arguments in our petitions and communications.

LBH intends to engage PBA again as its consultants on the tunnel.

He also pointed out potential pitfalls and political difficulties. Basically, it is a step forward, but we still need to attend to the Lords’ petitioning process and the current studies on traffic and dumping still need to be pursued to the end.

I feel a little less discouraged than I did this morning!

In anticipation that there will be a statement very soon.

Regards, Brian