HS2 could stop at Old Oak Common while central London terminus reassessed, says Khan
Sadiq Khan has thrown the redevelopment of Euston station into doubt after questioning whether it is the right place for HS2 to terminate.
The new mayor of London called for the plans to be put on hold until a less disruptive scheme is drawn up.
He said the high-speed rail line should initially terminate at Old Oak Common in west London.
Khan – who promised to speak to HS2 chairman David Higgins about the matter – is set to appoint Andrew Adonis as his deputy mayor for transport. Adonis, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, championed high-speed rail when he was transport minister and now sits on the board of HS2.
Khan told listeners to an LBC radio phone-in that he would hold a review of the Euston plans, although the final decision will be made by the Department for Transport.
He said: “I’ve got concerns whether Euston is the right station for the London part of HS2. The disruption during the building works will cause huge inconvenience, as well as the number of homes being destroyed during construction works.
“One of the things I’m looking into is whether you should look at Old Oak Common as a temporary station until some of the issues are dealt with. You’d have fast links with Heathrow, fast links to Crossrail and also far less disruption.”
The plans for Euston are opposed by local residents and businesses. There has also been criticism that the proposal to bolt on HS2 platforms to the existing station would be a missed opportunity to redevelop the whole site.
George Osborne has previously favoured wholesale redevelopment.
Sadiq Khan’s comments on LBC in full
John in Camden asks: HS2 plans for coming into Euston. Listeners already heard this morning about the disruption we face in Camden because of these plans. Looking at a construction project that will involve the removal of one million tonnes of spoil, up to 1,000 HGV movements a day and going to take place over a period of 15 years. What we’re calling for is a fundamental rethink of how HS2 comes into London - a better plan and much less disruptive. I request to you as new mayor for support in this campaign and leadership to find better solution.
Sadiq Khan: “I share your concerns. I think HS2 is a wonderful idea, you know high speed trains are really important. I’ve got concerns whether Euston is the right station for the London part of HS2, but also you’re right the disruption during the building works will cause huge inconvenience, the numbers of homes being destroyed during the construction works, also if you think about it Euston station doesn’t have links to Crossrail and so one of the things that I’m looking into is whether we should look at old oak common as the station for HS2 to go to you’d have fast links to Heathrow, fast links to Crossrail and also far less disruption.”
[He adds Sarah Hayward, Camden leader, and two local MPs have already been on the case lobbying him]
“Watch this space, I’ll speak to those behind HS2 to see if we can get the right thing for [stutter] do right by Euston, Camden and that part of London as well”
Question from host: “Permanently or temporarily to Old Oak?”
Sadiq Khan: “One of the things we’re considering is whether old oak common could be a temporary station until some of the things that John’s talked about are dealt with. If you look at Kings Cross/St Pancreas it’s now a gorgeous public realm and how it’s been built it took some time to get there. We want to be ambitious for Euston as well and I’m afraid the current plans don’t address some of the concerns John has. There is an alternative, which means there’s no delay in HS2 happening, which is old oak common and we could then come back to Euston.
“Not forever no and that’s not what Camden council are saying.”