HS2: Results of survey on Hampstead Road Bridge options published
Results of a recent survey of residents living very close to Hampstead Road Bridge have been published.
Residents of Cartmel, on the Regent’s Park Estate, were surveyed in August and September after HS2 Ltd published their latest proposal for Hampstead Road Bridge, which would raise its height by between 3.7 and 4.2 metres to bridge over existing and proposed railway lines.
The Council’s concerns
The Council has always been concerned about the impact Hampstead Road Bridge would have on Cartmel residents. In December 2015, HS2 Ltd committed to a study to look at ways to reduce the height of the bridge from their original proposal, which would have raised the bridge by 4.7 metres. HS2 Ltd’s latest proposal would therefore only reduce the height by half a metre to a metre. Although this proposal would maintain pedestrian routes, allow flexibility for Network Rail’s plans for the railway track and involve no additional residential demolition, the Council is concerned that this would not reduce the impact on residents living close to the bridge.
Another option presented in the study, which HS2 Ltd rejected, would reduce the height of Hampstead Road Bridge by half a metre, but also move the bridge approximately 15 metres further away from Euston station. The bridge could potentially be constructed up to 18 months quicker, with no temporary utilities diversions or utilities work in Ampthill Estate, would support more construction material to be transported by rail, and would allow for a construction vehicles access road. This option would involve the demolition of Cartmel.
The Council carried out a survey to understand residents’ views on HS2 Ltd’s options for Hampstead Road Bridge so that they can be represented in any further negotiations with HS2 Ltd. The survey also collected information about households to understand their housing needs.
77% of the 69 households in Cartmel responded to the survey.
Key findings include:
- 85% of residents are aware of HS2 Ltd’s original proposal to raise the level of Hampstead Road by approximately 4.7 metres.
- Opinion is divided on whether residents would prefer to stay living in their homes if HS2 Ltd took forward their recommended proposal of a heightened bridge up to 4.2 metres – 47% stated they would prefer to stay and 43% would prefer to move.
- 72% of residents would support an alternative option to HS2 Ltd’s current proposal that would involve the demolition of Cartmel.
- Over half of tenants (58%) would prefer not to move at all if they had to move more than once, and most want to stay in their local area.
- 44% of tenants indicated they would be happy to move to any part of Camden.
HS2 Ltd to review options
At the time of writing HS2 Ltd has made no commitment to taking forward any specific alternative to their proposed option. However, just before the Council appeared at the House of Lords Select Committee in September, HS2 Ltd provided an assurance that it will consider a wider range of options proposed by the Council for the design of the replacement bridge, providing they do not impact on the safe and economic delivery of the works.
HS2 Ltd has also indicated that there may be changes to how they construct the tracks in the approach to Euston station as they seek to reduce the impact of the scheme. At present it is unclear what impact these changes would have on the area, including the Regent’s Park Estate, but it could mean changes to the proposals for Hampstead Road Bridge that reduce the impact of HS2 works on the residents of Cartmel.
Discussions with HS2 Ltd about Cartmel and Hampstead Road Bridge may continue over several months. The Council is committed to pushing for the best outcome for residents, and will consult Cartmel residents about any alternative proposals for Hampstead Road Bridge that affect their homes before any decisions are taken by the Council.