Passenger dispersal at London HS2 stations
On 11th February 2014, the HS2 Euston Action Group (HEAG) was established at a public meeting convened by Frank Dobson MP at the Dick Collins Hall. Its aims were
- to coordinate the lobbying and petitioning by community groups and individuals who live or work in the Euston Area and all those who are specially and directly affected by HS2
- to empower all members of the diverse communities in the Euston areas who are specially and directly affected by the HS2 scheme to lobby and petition against the Bill.
- to share information and ideas with all those specially and directly affected by HS2 whether in the Euston area, Camden or elsewhere.
On 7 July 2015 HEAG’s Robert Latham gave evidence at the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands bill) Committee. He put forward the view that if HS2 were built, its main terminus should be at Old Oak
Common, “with the possibility of some trains coming through to Euston on existing tracks”.
The Promoters of the HS2 scheme do not share HEAG’s viewpoint, and consider that ‘the principle of locating the London terminus at Euston was established at Second Reading’.
The implications of HS2 Euston Action Group’s proposal to locate the main HS2 London terminus at Old Oak Common (July 2015)
Whatever claims are made by the Promoter, the facts are that (i) Old Oak is a perfectly viable location for an intercity rail station, and (ii) the financial and disruption costs of bringing HS2 into Euston are enormous.
If demand analysis suggested that “the journey time penalty for central London passengers using [a
station at Willesden Junction or Old Oak Common] as the only London terminal was likely to severely reduce the benefits of HS2”, that suggests the benefits of the entire project are flimsy in the extreme.
According to the Promoter, “The figures show that the removal of an onward service (beyond Old Oak) to Euston would reduce the present value of benefits by £3.8 billion”. But the cost of the Euston rebuild, plus the Continental gauge bores from Old Oak, would probably exceed £3.8 billion — meaning that the benefit cost ratio would actually go up.
Euston is on the periphery of the central area, so any claim that it would offer a faster journey to (say) Tottenham Court Road ought to be closely examined.
Relatively few people would use HS2, so the cost of the Old Oak — Euston HS2 tunnel would be better spent on developing rapid transit links (Overground, Underground, Tramlink, and Crossrail_X2) between West and Central London. Implementing the ‘X2’ version of Crossrail would provide a second regional metro linking Old Oak with Hampstead, St Pancras, Tottenham Court Road, Victoria, and Battersea.
Crossrail_X2 is a much better proposition than the ‘official’ Crossrail 2 scheme (which is dedicated to solving problems that don’t exist).