HS2: ‘Not a cat in hell’s chance’ private sector will fund line from Old Oak Common to Euston, says Sadiq Khan

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
If the HS2 leg to Euston is not completed, Mr Khan said it would be “a betrayal of businesses in London and beyond”.

Sadiq Khan has accused the government of “cancelling the [HS2] Euston terminals by stealth” in its decision to look to the private sector to complete the line to central London.

The government however claims there is “already extensive support and interest” from the sector to invest in the regeneration of the area around Euston, and cites the King’s Cross and the Battersea and Nine Elms developments as examples of such schemes working.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A DfT document detailed plans to create a “transformed ‘Euston Quarter’” around the new station, with up to 10,000 homes to be built. The proposal for the station itself however was scaled back from 11 platforms to six, and a planned pedestrian tunnel linking Euston with Euston Square was scrapped. It was also widely reported that without adequate private investment, the line would not run to Euston.

Until that leg is completed, HS2 will terminate in west London, at Old Oak Common, from which point passengers coming from Birmingham will have to transfer onto Elizabeth line trains to travel into the centre of the city.

During Thursday’s (November 16) Mayor’s Question Time, Mr Khan described the government’s belief that the private sector will pay to connect Old Oak Common with Euston as “wishful thinking”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“There’s not a cat in hell's chance of the private sector completely paying the £6.5bn," he said. "Who’s building the tunnel from Euston to Euston Square? Who’s going to build the connection from Euston to Old Oak Common? Who’s going to improve the public realm? Who’s going to give permission for 10,000 homes, give them back to the local community?”

Mr Khan added that if the HS2 leg to Euston is not completed, it would be “a betrayal of businesses in London and beyond”.

“It appears as if the government is cancelling the Euston terminals by stealth and leaving a crucial part of central London in a state of ongoing uncertainty."

Transport secretary Mark Harper said in a recent treasury committee session that the interest in delivering Euston through the development corporation “has been very extensive, it’s been broadly welcomed and the delivery partners are very enthusiastic”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He added he is “very reasonably optimistic” based on other projects which relied on private investment, such as the development at Nine Elms and Battersea.

A DfT spokesperson said: “As has always been planned, the line will finish at Euston. This is a world class regeneration opportunity and there is already extensive support and interest from the private sector to invest.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.