No sign of construction work resuming as rail tunnel is declared safe seven weeks after collapse.

Tesco says it is unsure if it will press ahead with the construction of a new store at Gerrards Cross, where a rail tunnel collapsed under the site in June. The tunnel, which carries commuters between Birmingham and London, is scheduled to be re-open on Saturday after being declared safe by Network Rail yesterday.

The tunnel caved in on the evening of June 30, and although no-one was hurt, Tesco and its contractors have had to remove some 25,000 tonnes of earth from inside it. Although it is now safe for trains to run again, construction on the site - where the tunnel must be extended if the work is to go ahead - will not be resumed immediately.

“We're just concentrating on getting the rail services up and running again,” said Catherine Edwards, a spokeswoman for Tesco. “The next phase will be to look at whether we can extend the tunnel.”

The proposal for the 2,500m2 store has long been unpopular with local residents, who claim it will cause a surge in traffic volume and impact negatively on established businesses in the area. Tesco had planned to open the store in November, but must now decide if the development is to go ahead at all.