HS2: Camden Council submits written evidence to HS2 inquiry

The Government’s Public Accounts Committee met yesterday (Monday 11 July 2016) as part of an inquiry into High Speed 2 (HS2), which Camden Council submitted evidence to last week.

The inquiry follows the publication of the National Audit Office’s (NAO) report on progress with preparations for the HS2 programme, published on 28 June. This suggested that the delivery of phase one of the high speed railway (from London to Birmingham) by the 2026 target opening date is at risk, with funding gaps and options for extending the opening date for phase one up to 12 months now being considered.

Our submitted evidence sets out our continued opposition to the Government’s current plans for HS2, already causing blight to the borough and anxiety for our communities and businesses. Our submission topics include:

  • HS2 Ltd is continuing to fail to address concerns of the Council and the community, including on issues of inadequate community engagement and compensation. The NAO’s report confirms that the benefit to cost ratio for HS2 has yet again reduced.
  • The Council’s agreement with NAO’s recommendation that if HS2 goes ahead, funding must be found for local authorities in order to deliver the wider regeneration and local growth potential from the scheme.
  • We are concerned that the report identifies an almost £400m gap in the funding required for the enabling works for over-station development at the HS2 side of Euston and further gaps in relation to over-station development across the existing mainline station.
  • We continue to argue that if HS2 is to go ahead, the design of Euston Station must include comprehensive integration of the proposed HS2 station, the existing station and the proposed Crossrail 2 station in order to maximise the potential of over-site development (with tracks all on one level): 16,000 new jobs, development value of £3 billion and annual growth of £1.1 billion.
  • We call on the Government to take steps to get Euston right, including maximising the transportation of construction waste and materials by rail, and redesigning Hampstead Road Bridge to lower its proposed height and impact.

You can read the submitted evidence in full on our website.

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