A 2.75 MILE bored HS2 rail tunnel, to avoid a major impact on Ruislip, will be built along the Northolt Corridor, it was announced this morning.

The tunnel was announced by Transport Secretary Justine Greening as part of the Government’s controversial £32bn HS2 rail plans.

A longer, continuous tunnel, from Little Missenden to the M25, will also be bored through the Chilterns.

The announcement is a huge blow for opponents to the high speed railway project in Hillingdon, who have campaigned against the plans for years.

Keri Brennan, chair of Hillingdon Against HS2, said in a statement: “The news that the flawed, highly criticised HS2 project is going ahead is of great disappointment to residents of Hillingdon and all tax-payers in this country.”

But she said the fact the tunnels had been added to the original plans were of some consolation to opponents in Ruislip, despite tunnelling also having its drawbacks.

“That the Government has decided to tunnel the section of the route through Ruislip is good news for people who faced losing their homes and gardens, and we are proud we have got local voices heard through our campaign.

“However, this is not something to be grateful for – the route should never have been designed without one. Additionally, tunnels have their own problems, which we will now study in great detail, and some homes will still be lost as air vents.

“Residents in other areas of Hillingdon face terrible losses of homes, green spaces and noise pollution, as well as construction chaos.

“We will continue to fight this scheme on behalf of local residents and on behalf of all British tax-payers.”

The first phase of the Y-shaped HS2 route, to be completed by 2026, will run from London to Birmingham, while the second phase will take the route to Manchester and Leeds by 2033.

In a statement, Mrs Greening cited the environmental and economic benefits of the rail plans.

"By following in the footsteps of the 19th Century railway pioneers, the Government is signalling its commitment to providing 21st Century infrastructure and connections, laying the groundwork for long-term, sustainable economic growth," she said.