Bridge will pass through sensitive area

HS2 has published the specimen design for the Colne Valley viaduct by Knight Architects with Atkins.

The 2.1-mile bridge would pass through an area of Buckinghamshire that has been the focus of some of the more vocal opposition to the high-speed rail line.

The bridge will cut through the Colne Valley Regional Park, more than 40 square miles of farmland, woods and waterways

HS2 say it will be one of the line’s most memorable structures and has been designed to mitigate the railway’s negative impact. Transparent noise-reduction barriers will have vertical lines making them visible to bats and wildfowl. The design is also intended to give it a slimmer profile.

Martin Knight said: “The Colne Valley Viaduct has been identified as one of the most sensitive and important open-route structures of HS2 Phase One and we were pleased to develop a specimen design for HS2 which respects and responds to the unique context.

“Extensive consultative dialogue with the Colne Valley Regional Park Panel and the HS2 Design Panel has resulted in a beautiful and functional design which has broad support and which offers a clear and positive design guide to [contractor] Align and their design team.”

The images will help inform development of the bridge’s final design and form the basis for wider discussions with the local community in Buckinghamshire, said the government.

dRMM co-founder Sadie Morgan, chair of HS2’s independent design panel, said: “We are delighted that this imaginative and carefully considered concept has been published, and can form the basis for wider discussions with the communities around the Colne Valley and all those who value and use the spaces and amenities within it.

“The independent design panel will continue to work hard to ensure that the viaduct’s final design respects its location and communities, while being a shining example of great design that Britain can be proud of.”