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Lords thwart Camden’s bid for Euston HS2 delay

Inside Euston Station HS2 platforms

Camden Council has again urged the government to provide funding and timescales for the comprehensive redevelopment of Euston Station when High Speed 2 (HS2) is built.

The council said that it welcomed the government’s statement last week that it shared the vision for a unified Euston station, but that it had failed to provide details of ongoing funding and thorough timescales needed to deliver this.

“We will continue to push for an integrated station through our membership of strategic boards and raise the issue at the highest levels of government,” it said.

Currently, Euston Station is managed by Network Rail, which will continue to manage the eastern part of the station after the HS2 platforms are built at a lower level to the west.

Camden Council argued that the deferment of the reconstruction of the eastern part of the station would be a lost opportunity for integrated and comprehensive redevelopment of the whole site as a ‘world-class’ railway station.

As part of the process for the HS2 bill to gain Royal Assent, the council pushed the House of Lords to amend schedule 17 of the Bill to allow it to impose a so called ‘Grampian’ condition which would enable Camden, as planning authority, to defer approval of plans for the HS2 side until plans for the other side had been developed.

In the special report published by the House of Lords on 15 December last year it said that the splitting of its design into two different operations seemed ‘unlikely to assist in the achievement of that objective.’ The report called for the transport secretary to ensure that funding was provided for the second planning stage to proceed as soon as possible.

However, the Lord’s report said that imposing a ‘Grampian’ condition would be ‘quite likely to cause further delay without achieving any positive result.’

The Department for Transport (DfT) last week responded by saying that it was working closely with HS2 Ltd, Network Rail and wider stakeholders, to ensure that it could achieve Lords Select Committee’s vision for an integrated Euston Station. It said that it was managing the development of a single Euston Station masterplan that would provide a clear framework for the integration of all stations at Euston.

However, when questioned about the funding which it said it had allocated to Network Rail to complete the study and the subsequent work needed to produce a more detailed plan, it declined to give a response.

“We have put in place funding for National Rail to complete the feasibility stage of work for the conventional station. This will consider the strategic options for the potential future redevelopment and the business case for these, as well as how the HS2 station proposals support and safeguard any potential future development. We will not be making the costs of the study public.”

“Additional funding for subsequent stages of work will of course be considered once this initial feasibility programme has been completed and options identified.”

Network Rail also refused to go into any further details and said: “Network Rail is working with HS2 Ltd, DfT and others on plans to transform Euston into a transport hub fit for current and future customer needs. Euston’s redevelopment will benefit communities in Camden and beyond, building on local vibrancy and stimulating economic growth in the area”.

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