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Euston station plans facing major rethink after PM gives HS2 the green light

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The proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) station at Euston could be in for a redesign after the independent Oakervee review deemed the current plans for the project ‘unsatisfactory’

The review into the feasibility of HS2 has recommended that a new single plan for the Grimshaw-designed HS2 terminus as well as the current Euston station should be drawn up.

The report, which has informed the government’s decision to move forward with the contentious rail link, also called for a new Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) to help deliver a ‘single Euston plan’, working alongside Network Rail, the Department for Transport, HS2 Ltd, Lendlease and Camden Council. Oakervee added that ‘given the complexity of the Euston project, this organisation should not be HS2 Ltd’.

Oakervee recommended a new in-depth study into how to improve the efficiency of the station as a whole and how the complicated engineering approach in the current HS2 designs could be avoided. 

The long-awaited review into HS2 was finally published by the government yesterday (11 February) after prime minister Boris Johnson gave the go-ahead to the project.

He said both Euston and Phase 2b, which links the line from Crewe to Manchester as well as the eastern spur from Birmingham to Leeds, will be delivered by separate bodies to the main HS2 Ltd.

Speaking to Parliament the PM said: ‘There will be changes to the way HS2 is managed.

‘We will, in line with Oakervee’s recommendations, be interrogating the current costs to identify where savings can be made in phase 1 without the costs and delays that would be associated with a detailed redesign.

‘And, so that the company can focus solely on getting phases 1 and 2a built on something approaching on time and on budget, I will be creating new delivery arrangements for both the grossly behind-schedule Euston terminus, and phase 2b of the wider project.

‘But, before those designs are finalised and legislation introduced, we will also present an integrated plan for rail in the north.’

In its conclusion to the delivery of Euston the Oakervee review said: ‘The existing design for the HS2 station at Euston is not satisfactory. For the future Euston station, there should be a study led by the SRO, looking into the efficiency of the future station as a whole, including considering options to simplify the HS2 approach to Euston station.’

The review stopped short of recommending that the Old Oak Common to Euston leg of the new line should be scrapped, however, noting that it contributed between £20 billion and £30 billion of the economic benefits of the new line. But it suggested this stage might come after the opening of the rest of the first phase.

The review stated: ’Euston station is an important part of realising the benefits of HS2, and the section from Old Oak Common to Euston should not be removed from the scope of the project.

’However, it is vital to get the Euston project right. Old Oak Common should act as the temporary London terminus for HS2 services until Euston station is complete, so time taken to get Euston right does not delay the start of HS2 services.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • In the course of 'getting Euston right' would it not be well worth revisiting the possibility of rebuilding Philip Hardwick's superb and shamefully demolished Arch?
    The location of the dumped stonework is apparently known - and but for the grace of God St Pancras station and the Foreign Office could have met the same fate, courtesy of a culture that (with hindsight) was somewhat barbaric.
    To pay for this, perhaps the Safras could see their way to making a contribution - to create a far more civilised legacy than plonking Foster's monstrous RPG lookalike into the middle of London.

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