Two-year wait 'shows government is stalling on HS2'
A decision on a high-speed rail link between Ruislip and Heathrow Airport might not be made for another two years.
MPs along the HS2 route were told on Monday that Phase 2 of the project, which includes a spur to Heathrow, would not be finalised until 2014.
The spur could mean South Ruislip or Ickenham are chosen as linking points to the main route, already proposed to run through Ruislip and Harefield.
But a meeting with new transport secretary Justine Greening gave MPs renewed hope the government was stalling on the project - and might even be going back to the drawing board. While both John Randall (Con, Uxbridge and South Ruislip) and Nick Hurd (Con, Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner) missed the appointment because of their ministerial duties, John McDonnell (Lab, Hayes and Harlington) took the chance to quiz Ms Greening about the HS2 timetable.
He told the Gazette afterwards: "They said there would be no formal consultation [on Phase 2] until 2014. "We were originally told December this year. It is staggering.
"The pressure is building on the government now from all sides that HS2 is not currently viable."
Earlier this month, the Labour Party announced it had dropped support for the existing route proposed by the government and would instead support a direct Heathrow link that followed the M40.
But campaigners still hope the £32billion project could be dropped entirely. Ruislip Against HS2 chairman, Lottie Jones, said: "I am fairly sure the government will say it needs looking at in more detail, but my opinion changes every day."