HS2 critics slam 'Stalinist' bridge designs set for the Chilterns

Critics of the High Speed 2 line have called the plans for two viaducts in the Chilterns area 'grotesque' and compared them to 'hideous concrete Stalinist designs.'
Local residents in the area are concerned that the stunning view will be ruined by the two imposing bridges which are said to have a total length of 800m.
In an artists impression of the plans they are also shown to have tall parapets to deflect the noise of the speeding 250mph trains planned for the high speed line.  
The plans for the section of line in Wendover Dean, near Aylesbury, were published this month, reports The Times.
They were revealed to the community by Eiffage Kier, the contractors appointed to build a 50-mile stretch of the line.
Murray Cooke, from the Wendover HS2 Action Group, said 95 per cent of the local population was opposed to the design and called it 'grotesque.' 
One critic described the design as 'thick, heavy, blocky, low and forbidding.
'This village is a jewel in the Chilterns and your desecration of it is total vandalism.'
Another wrote on Twitter: 'These are the hideous concrete Stalinist designs for HS2 in Wendover Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 
'Despite all the promises, ugly concrete ripping through Green Belt. Yorkshire be warned this is HS2 reality.' 
Five years ago Justine Greening, who was then the Conservative transport secretary, said that HS2 structures would be likened to Victorian architecture as 'things of beauty.'
However the proposed plans have caused outrage for their lack of similarity to classic viaduct designs.
One person said: 'It was promised that within the Chilterns AONB HS2 would be a thing of beauty. 
'Looks like this will be far from the truth. Currently HS2 viaduct looks like a shocking disregard for the AONB. Very sad.' 
The project contractors said that it would be impossible to replicate the brick-arched railway viaducts as the faster HS2 trains require flatter, straighter track.
Ian Richie told The Times: 'There's a way of making it all feel a lot more elegant and that's not what we have here.'
The award winning architect also critised the design saying the parapets wouldn't help reduce noise.
A spokesperson for HS2 Ltd said: 'We recognise the importance of good design and each of these structures has been developed with consideration for the technical and structural requirements, as well as the impact on their surroundings.
'We will continue to engage with local people and organisations on these designs.'  
HS2 will link London, West Midlands, Leeds and Manchester.
The line is to be built in a 'Y' configuration. London will be on the bottom of the 'Y', Birmingham at the centre, Leeds at the top right and Manchester at the top left. 
Read more: HS2 will inflict ¿Stalinist¿ design on the Chilterns | News | The Times

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