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HS2 Euston gets weirder

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On 3 April 2013, a scaled-back ‘cheapskate’ version of the planned Euston HS2 railway terminal was presented to councillors in a “private meeting” at Camden Town Hall, the Camden New Journal’s Tom Foot reported.

The New Journal revealed last month how the government-funded HS2 Ltd was changing direction over its massive demolition plan after realising the £33 billion project was running late and already around 30 per cent over budget.

The original plan was to build a brand-new Euston Station for the controversial link to Birmingham with underground railway lines, leaving an area the size of 17 football pitches for redevelopment.

[…] Speaking after the two-hour meeting, attended by around 20 councillors, Town Hall leader Sarah Hayward said: “The reaction at the meeting was that this is incredibly disappointing and frustrating.

“The single discernible benefit from HS2 was the over-station development. But with this new station Camden will get all of the demolition, all the construction, all the disruption, with no gains for the communities, no jobs or affordable homes.”

The new scheme would see Cardington Street and St James’s Gardens public park – a consecrated burial ground believed to hold the remains of tens of thousands of bodies – bulldozed and replaced by six new tracks.

Hundreds of homes on the Regent’s Park Estate threatened by the scheme would still be demolished under the revised plan. There is no guarantee the residents affected would be rehoused in Camden.

If it weren’t for the scale of the cost underestimation, it would be easy to view the ‘Euston annexe’ concept as a HS2 Ltd masterstroke to get Camden councillors on-side for the original ‘ground zero’ scheme. And effectively, some councillors are now backing a ‘max disruption’ scheme instead of articulating the fact that, annexe or rebuild, HS2 means years of disruption and no benefit for the average Camden resident. Even the ‘cheapskate’ annexe scheme could come in at somewhere between £1 and £2 billion, when the reconstruction of Euston / Euston Square Underground is included.

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Written by beleben

April 5, 2013 at 11:54 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2, London, Politics

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  1. […] in their dealings with the Government on this issue. In one of his (or perhaps her) excellent blogs, Beleben warns against Camden councillors and others being seen to be in a position of backing the […]


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