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Concerns mount over Euston Station redevelopment

Euston Station 3to2

The long running saga over the redevelopment of Euston Station has been rekindled after a Greater London Authority (GLA) boss admitted that a lack of funding and an unclear plan for the surrounding area could lead to a disjointed station.

London Euston is the sixth busiest railway station in Britain handling 71M people per year. It currently acts as the southern terminus of the West Coast Mainline and is to undergo a £1.65bn redevelopment which is solely to build the southern terminus of the new High Speed 2 (HS2) line.

With the arrival of the HS2, there is a vision from many parties, including project promoter HS2 Ltd and the local Camden Council, to use the opportunity to completely modernise and improve the whole station. However, as HS2 progresses with appointing contractors for its side of the redevelopment, concerns are increasing over lack of funding and strategy for the rest of the site. Network Rail has removed funding for major enhancement projects, which would include the redevelopment of existing Euston Station, from the new control period 6 (CP6 running from 2019 to 2024) budget.

Concerns were first raised in 2015 by Camden Council when it said the scheme lacked funding, timescale and design detail. The fears were then repeated in May this year when Camden Council councillor Danny Beales said it still had “serious concerns” about the redevelopment.

Now GLA deputy mayor planning, regeneration and skills Jules Pipe has waded in saying the redevelopment of the Network Rail side of the station was still unfunded and lacked a proper plan. He also stressed that the arrival of HS2 and then Crossrail 2 has to be incorporated into a wider plan for the station. 

Speaking at the London Infrastructure Summit, Pipe went on to say that the plan still lacked a clear strategy for the bus station and connectivity for passengers through the whole station. He also highlighted the lack of a fixed location for the entrance to Crossrail 2.

“The debate is still open as to whether the entrance to Crossrail 2 would actually be within a redeveloped conventional station or whether it would be the other side of the road,” he said. “Can you imagine coming off HS2 and having to traverse the station […] and then have to cross the road to get into Crossrail 2.

“We’ve got to nail all this stuff down to make sure we make a real success of placemaking at Euston.”

In response HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston said it was the company intented to ”create one, integrated terminus at Euston”, adding that there was funding for the “early stages” of planning for the Network Rail station.

“There is funding for the early stages of the Network Rail station as there is a recognition that you couldn’t go and build HS2 at Euston and do nothing with the existing station,” said Thurston. “The whole plan only works if you see it in totality.

“However, let’s be clear, this will need to be done in phases and that’s an issue for us working with Network rail and Camden working out how we keep the existing station as a working operating station while we build the new.”

In February this year Network Rail ex chief executive Mark Carne confirmed there were, at that time, no new major projects on the books for CP6.

New enhancement projects will have to apply for funding separately, either competing against other national infrastructure projects or seeking other sources of finance.

The HS2 station at Euston is due to open in 2026 with the opening of phase 1 of the line from London to Birmingham.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Can you imagine getting off HS2, traverse the station and then having to cross the road to get to crossrail 2? Err.. Well yes quite easily actually as this is exactly the situation with HS1 and crossrail 1 at Stratford, where you can see the other station platforms but have to go walkies or on DLR to Boris's white elephant Stratford International. So a three station solution is normal under Failing Grayling. Time for a rail review.

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  • Philip Alexander

    This is a fiasco. It's not too late to CANCEL the whole sorry mess of an un-needed vanity project. Quite apart from the fact that HS2 is completely unnecessary, the lack of connection between HS1 and HS2 is a monumental piece of sadly typical disjointed nonsense from the government. I suppose all those people who want to travel at "high speed" from the Midlands and the north to Paris will just love hiking with their luggage along the Euston Road to St Pancras, or climb down numerous stairs to the underground, then back up again. "Now why did I travel at high speed when I lose all the time saved when I travel at snail's pace from Euston to St Pancras?"
    Where are the sane voices from the engineering and transport community who should be advising this shower? Come on ICE, inject some realism and commonsense, before it is too late.

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  • For the forseeable future the terminus for HS2 should be at Old Oak Common. Crossrail 1 will take passengers from there to HS1 and the heart of London as quickly if not quicker than HS2. Saves time, effort and money and we can think about extending HS2 to central London at a later date.
    It might require improvements to the Overground line to maximise benefits, but whatever those improvements might cost will be a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of Old Oak Common to Euston.

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