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HS2 redesign plans for Euston ‘leave questions unanswered’ – Camden

Camden Council has criticised HS2’s redesigned proposals to bring high-speed rail to Euston, saying that serious questions have been left “unanswered”, including how future transport schemes like Crossrail 2 will be integrated with the station. 

The latest proposals, which will be submitted to Parliament next week, confirm that the works will be done on a ‘phased basis’ as initially revealed in February

But HS2 has said that under the new plan, the first stage would include the construction of six new high-speed platforms and a concourse to the west of the station to support the opening of HS2 phase 1 (between London and the Midlands) in 2026. Work is due to begin in 2017. 

The second leg would include construction of five further high-speed platforms and a concourse to support the opening of phase 2 (between London and Leeds/Manchester) in 2033.The plans also enable potential redevelopment of the remaining existing station platforms and concourses, subject to future funding and approvals. 

10 - GAL 12016 Euston HS2 Cam04 NoTrain 011

HS2 said the cost of the Euston project will rise from £2bn to £2.25bn, although this does not affect HS2’s overall £42bn budget. The Euston designs are by Grimshaw Architects, the firm behind Waterloo International, London Bridge station and Reading station.

The staged approach to building the high-speed terminus means existing services can continue to operate, reducing both disruption for passengers and the effects on the community as a whole at any one time. Simon Kirby, HS2 Ltd chief executive, said: “These firm proposals will allow Euston to fulfil its potential. 

“It’s time for Euston to change. Not just if it is to fulfil its historic role as the gateway between London and much of the rest of the country, but also if it’s to become a much bigger and fully accessible part of its own community.” 

However, Camden Council thinks the plans could bring a “decade of blight” without any benefit to London, unless there is a commitment to the redevelopment of the entire Euston station and a joined-up approach to the delivery of station proposals. 

The local authority claims that by not guaranteeing comprehensive development, the government’s plan risks creating a disjointed station with tracks on different levels that divides communities and fails to enhance the Euston area. 

It adds that the current plans could limit development opportunities, prevent easy access through the station in all directions to the surrounding area and potentially throw away up to 6,000 jobs, 1,000 homes and £400m of economic value. 

8 - HS 2 Concourse 2

Additionally, failure to include the existing Euston station in a comprehensive development could block the integration of Crossrail 2, which could mean further disruption to an area already facing years of HS2 construction. 

Cllr Sarah Hayward, leader of Camden Council, said: “HS2 will cause decades of blight in the Euston area – to property prices, to our small business’ trade and to our residents’ lives, which is why we remain ardently opposed to the scheme. 

“If HS2 goes ahead with these plans, Camden suffers all of the pain with none of the benefits. London has a housing crisis and people’s jobs are insecure. Comprehensive development at Euston with tracks on one level can help remedy this and provide a world-class transport hub, yet the short-sightedness of these plans is threatening to let down Londoners on all these fronts.” 

But Rupert Walker, Euston development director for HS2 Ltd and Network Rail, said it will be the “best connected station in London” acting as a crossroads between the north and the south, quickly and easily accessible from all parts of the capital and, with HS2, the country. 

“This will take time and inevitably cause disruption to both the community and commuters as we work to bring about change but at each stage we will do our best to explain what we are doing, and why, as well as listening to ideas about what the new Euston should look and feel like,” he added. 

The new plans are proposed for inclusion in the High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill by means of an Additional Provision (AP) which is due, subject to Parliamentary approval, to be deposited on Thursday 17 September. 

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP said the latest plans are essential for the local community. “These are the first steps towards creating a station in Euston of which both the local community and national passengers can be proud,” he said.


Gb   09/09/2015 at 13:23

How can the Transport Secretary possibly say that "the latest plans are essential for the local community" when the leader of Camden Council says “HS2 will cause decades of blight in the Euston area – to property prices, to our small business’ trade and to our residents’ lives, which is why we remain ardently opposed to the scheme"? Its about time this unjustified, unwanted and extreemly costly scheme is scrapped and the money used to re-establish some of the lost links in our railway system and enhance and develop its existing capacity for the benefit of all potential rail users.

John   11/09/2015 at 18:00

It's a nonsence that it's going to Euston at all! It should link up with HS1 so we could, if we wanted to, gor from Toton to Brussels, Paris or Frankfurt on one train without having to change! No one in their right minds is going to pay a whopping premium to go from Birmingham to Euston 15 minutes quicker than the quickest Pendolino does it now.

John Grant   12/09/2015 at 14:17

In what sense will Euston be the “best connected station in London”? It won't be on Thameslink or Crossrail. Also, I don't understand why it would be better to have all tracks on one level; putting the HS2 platforms underneath the WCML platforms would surely take up less space than putting them alongside and mean shorter walks from the bus terminal, tube platforms, etc.

Peter Jones   12/09/2015 at 21:29

Rupert Walker's Mum ought to have a word with him. He is being as cavalier with the truth as a a Banana Republic dictator. Nice bloke - dirty job #HS2

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