HS2 materials by rail study fails to meet Camden's expectations

Camden Council has criticised HS2 Ltd for missing an opportunity to reduce the number of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) journeys on the borough's roads during construction of the scheme.

HS2 Ltd’s study concludes they will take forward plans that only reduce the number of HGV movements on Camden’s roads by 15%. Even this is subject to further work. 

Council Leader, Councillor Sarah Hayward, condemned the report, saying:

“This is a derisory proposal from HS2 Ltd. Reducing lorry movements by just 15% would still leave over 310,000 lorry movements on our roads - nearly ten times the number of vehicles that currently use the Euston Road each day. Surely HS2 can do better when they’re building a railway?

“Transporting materials by rail is one of the crucial ways HS2 Ltd could reduce the impact of the scheme on local residents, cyclists and other road users. The conclusions of this report call into question how serious HS2 Ltd are about delivering on the assurances that we have previously secured from them to mitigate the impact of their project on local people and the local area.”

The report follows HS2 Ltd’s assurance last December to work with the Council, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Transport for London (TfL) to produce a plan to maximise the use of the railway instead of road to remove waste and deliver construction materials.

About the report

HS2 Ltd had identified three options for sites for loading and unloading onto trains. The study has led HS2 Ltd to an initial conclusion that they should implement the sites proposed at platform 13 and platform 18 of Euston Station, subject to further work being done to understand the impact on rail services and the construction programme.

In its petition to the House of Lords, the Council reserved the right to appear on the outcome of the material by rail study. The Council understands that the further work identified by HS2 Ltd will not be carried out before this appearance which is expected in September.

The report includes the joint comments of the Council and TfL, which push HS2 Ltd to:

  • Implement all three options for railhead loading sidings.
  • Commit to remove lorries from Camden’s roads.
  • Re-use demolition material and/or remove by rail reducing HGVs from Camden roads.
  • Commit to developing a concrete strategy to minimise the number of vehicles travelling to and from the Euston construction area and give further consideration of concrete batching on site.
  • A commitment for HS2 Ltd and its contractors to work with Camden and TfL on an ongoing basis to continue to seek ways to maximise the transportation of materials by rail and the removal of HGVs from Camden’s roads.

The Material by Rail study, published last week, confirms that they will only pursue two of three rail sidings locations available to them for loading and unloading, subject to further work being done to assess the impact on passengers and construction. Using the third location would have resulted in 6500 more HGV movements being removed from Camden’s roads, with associated benefits for air quality, road safety and congestion.

Using the two rail locations will only reduce the number of HGV movements that the overall HS2 project will generate by 15%.

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