Thursday 12 September 2019 11:56 am

Heidi Alexander: It would add ‘insult to injury’ if HS2 skips Euston

It would add ‘insult to injury’ if High Speed Two (HS2) did not stop at Euston, London’s deputy mayor for transport has said. 

Read more: Businesses react as HS2’s price tag balloons to £88bn

Former shadow cabinet minister Heidi Alexander said communities in London had already experienced “considerable disruption” around Euston, where HS2 is due to terminate in the south.

HS2 is currently subject to an independent review by former chair Douglas Oakervee and critic Lord Berkeley. 

The review will consider a number of options, including terminating the line at Old Oak Common in north London rather than Euston, where land has already been acquired for the project. 

Speaking at the London infrastructure summit today, Alexander said: “The truth of the matter is that if you speak to communities in Euston they have already experienced considerable disruption, and a significant amount of money has been spent buying homes.

“It would add insult to injury if you said to people in London we will not bring HS2 into Euston, even if it stops just temporarily at Old Oak Common.

“There are big questions that need to be asked about capacity and the transport system there to absorb passengers getting off those trains or wanting to get on them.”

Read more: Lords approve HS2 Birmingham-Crewe extension before parliament shutdown

She added:  “We have to take into account how London has already suffered quite a lot of disruption.”

Earlier this month a report carried out by HS2 chair Allan Cook found that is was unlikely the scheme could be delivered within its original official budget of £56bn – a price tag that has been questioned for years.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps later admitted to MPs that based on 2019 prices, the project could cost £88bn.

The first phase of HS2, which will link London to Birmingham, is also running between two and five years behind schedule, while the second phase linking Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds could be delayed by up to seven years.