Euston: Number of HS2 platforms planned for London station slashed after government announcement
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Prime minister Rishi Sunak announced earlier this week that the northern leg of the high speed rail project, from Birmingham to Manchester, would be axed due to ballooning costs.
Instead, the billions of pounds saved would be used to support hundreds of other transport schemes around the country.
Mr Sunak also unveiled major changes to the plans for Euston, which is intended to be the end-point for those travelling into London via HS2.
He said management of the site would be taken from HS2 and would instead be given to a development company, with the site to be designated the Euston Development Zone.
Not only that, Mr Sunak said the £6.5bn saved in Euston would be removed and “given to the rest of the country”.
Work at the station was paused in February, after costs had risen to £4.8 billion, against an initial budget of £2.6bn.
The documents continue: “We will not provide a tunnel between Euston and Euston Square underground station or design features we do not need.
“Instead we will deliver a 6-platform station which can accommodate the trains we will run to Birmingham and onwards and which best supports regeneration of the local area.
“That is how we properly unlock the opportunities the new station offers, while radically reducing its costs.”
The six platforms indicate a reduction of almost half of those originally planned, with 11 initially earmarked.
Commenting on the update, Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council, the borough in which Euston is located, said: “We have avoided the worst-case scenario of Euston being left abandoned in its current state. However, we now must ensure that Camden, our partners and the local community shape its future.
“Our residents and businesses have endured years of disruption and blight – homes have been knocked down, businesses lost and open space destroyed.
“The prime minister’s proposal to take £6.5 billion from Euston must not lead to the promises made to our community on affordable housing, jobs and investment locally being broken.
“Camden Council is ready to lead a development in Euston that delivers for our community and the country. This means the council, our key partners in London and our local community in Euston, having not just seats at the table but the power to lead and make our vision for Euston - and the life-changing opportunities that it will provide - a reality.”
Reporting since the speech has indicated the continuation of HS2 into Euston may be contingent on private funding being secured, with a DfT spokesperson telling the BBC there is “already support and interest from the private sector”.
When previously approached, a HS2 spokesperson had said they would not be commenting on the prime minister’s speech.
The DfT meanwhile said no decisions have been made on when the Euston Development Zone will be established, and could provide no further details on what it will actually encompass.
During a recent visit to another HS2 station being built in the capital, west London’s Old Oak Common, residents showed some enthusiasm regarding its potential impact on the area.
One person told LondonWorld: “Of course it’s a positive. You’ve got more people here, the Elizabeth line will stop there as well. Most of the development will be around Old Oak, should it actually improve, should it help this area? Yeah, it will. It’s inevitable. But will there be sticking points? Yes, inevitably, because we’ll get it wrong first, second, third try.
“But the station will be there for the best part of forever. And so eventually, the infrastructure around will line up with it.”