Posted 17th October 2023 | 2 Comments

Talks start on private cash for HS2 Euston

Transport secretary Mark Harper has revealed that discussions have started on raising private investment to fund the construction of the central London station for HS2 at Euston.

Mr Harper made a statement to the House of Commons yesterday on the first day that it had reassembled after the conference recess.

The Prime Minister had told the Conservative Party conference on 4 October that the section of HS2 between Old Oak Common and Euston is still in the plans, although the project has been put on hold in response to sharply rising costs.

Mr Harper said talks took place with the Euston Partnership Board last week. The Board is a group of stakeholders which was set up in 2020, and is chaired by Lord Hendy. It involves representatives of the Department for Transport, HS2 Ltd, Network Rail, development partner Lendlease, Transport for London, the Greater London Authority, the London Borough of Camden and the West Coast Partnership.

He explained: ‘The facts have changed, so we are changing our approach. With work well under way, we will finish HS2 between London Euston and the west midlands. Just last week, I spoke to the Euston Partnership Board on the huge regeneration opportunity that can be unlocked with private investment.’

Labour’s shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh responded: ‘The consequences of this shambles are no joke; they are profound. There will be owners of small and medium-sized enterprises that have bet the house on HS2. People will lose their jobs this side of the general election as a result of this decision—homes, farms and businesses all sold, the countryside carved up, and Euston a hole in the ground, and for what? He has wasted £45 billion on a line between Old Oak Common and Birmingham that no one asked for and that has no business case. Only in Conservative-run Britain could a high-speed train hit the slow-coach lane the second it hits the north of England.’

Reader Comments:

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  • John Porter , Leeds

    Louise Haigh’s comments and DfT’s Network North report are both too gloomy. The report’s data shows a RISK that rail ridership has plateaued and if that has happened, devoting 1/3rd of the Transport Capital Budget to HS2 cannot be justified. So one should slow down HS2 Phase 2 until it’s clearer while squeezing Phase 1.
    That makes sense providing
    1. passive provision is made for the possibility of junctions in the delayed Old Oak to Euston tunnels to reach WCML platforms, and
    2. other options are considered and consulted on before land is sold off and safeguarding dropped.
    Both aspects and the prospect of a public/private development of Euston, need to be fully considered before the tunnels start being used. Otherwise HS2 will never be capable of its design capacity - 16 to 18 in service trains per hour.
    If a reduced private cash scheme with 6 platforms at HS2 Euston and no Phase 2 is all that’s eventually justified - the best imaginable service is 11 trains per hour (11tph)
    #3tph to Birmingham some reversing there to Sheffield(2)/ /Nottingham(1), to make sensible use of the Curzon St Station,
    #3tph to Crewe dividing for Manchester (2), Liverpool (2) & Preston (2).
    #2tph with extended (40 min) turnaround to Scotland
    #1tph to Stoke, Stockport & Manchester dividing from a Sheffield service at Birmingham Interchange - via the Birmingham to Sheffield existing line,
    #2(12 car)tph to Stoke, Macclesfield, Stockport & Manchester
    It’s currently unclear how costly and practical the upgrades to the existing lines north of Birmingham would be to reliably accommodate the above.

  • strawbrick, Watford

    I wonder if they discussed how and where they were going to build the promised "up to 10,000 new homes" now that the HS2 station has been reduced to just six platforms?