Big sinkhole appears above HS2 tunnel near Little Missenden in Buckinghamshire

  • Tap above to watch video report by ITV News London's Rags Martel

A large sinkhole has appeared above a tunnel built for the HS2 high speed rail line near Little Missenden in Buckinghamshire.

Campaigners against the project said the six metre wide hole which is also five metres deep showed it was "time to stop digging".

A spokesperson for HS2 said the opening in the ground was part of the Chiltern tunnel designed to improve links between London and the north of England.

A statement added: "A ground movement has occurred within a field above the Chiltern tunnels.

"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."

Man stands at the top of the sinkhole Credit: Handout

The leader of Buckinghamshire Council said there have been warnings for years that something like this could happen.

"We've been warning for the best part of twelve years," said Councillor Martin Tett.

"This council has opposed HS2 consistently. The risk of tunneling and what might happen in terms of ground collapse has been very present - we warned this could happen and lo and behold it has.

"There is nothing to be said in terms of being right about this. But it is very worrying and we must have the right reassurances from HS2," he added.

Earlier this year Rishi Sunak insisted HS2 would ultimately finish at London Euston after questions were raised about the fate of the multi-billion infrastructure project. The Prime Minister insisted that there was nothing “ambiguous” about the final termination point for HS2 as he confirmed that the Government still planned to see passengers end their journey in central London. The government said construction of the Birmingham to Crewe leg of HS2 will be delayed by two years, with the government also “prioritising” the initial services between Old Oak Common in west London’s suburbs and Birmingham Curzon Street.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We are investigating a sinkhole on private land near Amersham in Buckinghamshire, to understand whether it has resulted in any pollution to the local environment.

“Our specialist officers work closely with HS2 Ltd and contractors to ensure all relevant legislation is followed. We also continue to talk to local people, the water industry and local authorities to ensure the environment is protected throughout the HS2 project.

“Anyone with new concerns about this incident can call our 24-hour incident hotline: 0800 807060.”

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