HS2 Euston plans to see Camden children ‘spend entire young lives next to construction site’

PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 July 2015 | UPDATED: 09:01 10 July 2015

Sir Keir Starmer gives evidence to the HS2 Select Committee

Sir Keir Starmer gives evidence to the HS2 Select Committee


Children in Camden are to spend their entire young lives “knowing nothing other than construction work” should current plans for the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link go ahead, a parliamentary select committee has been warned.

Thousands of households in the borough will suffer the effects of up to 20 years of major building works, leading to a “major headache” for families and residents.

The stark warnings were issued by petitioners from Camden to the HS2 Select Committee on Tuesday.

The Bill for the proposed Birmingham to London rail link passed its second reading in 2014, with the committee now hearing evidence from interested parties.

The HS2 Euston Action Group, composed of some 28 community groups, urged current plans be abandoned that would see Euston station become the main London terminus for HS2.

The group instead argued an alternative proposal that it said would be less damaging, better connected and save £1.5billion.

It suggested the brownfield site of Old Oak Common – already earmarked as a station on the HS2 line – as the main terminus, with the possibility of some HS2 trains coming down to Euston on existing railway tracks.

Sir Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, led the charge against current plans, flanked by former MP Frank Dobson and chair of HS2 Euston Action Group, Robert Latham.

Sir Keir told the committee: “Bringing this railway into Euston is a headache and a half.

“This is a very densely populated area. To say it would have a hugely damaging impact on local communities is a gross understatement, impacting literally thousands of households.

“Some children will be born in the area and grow up knowing nothing other than construction works. Anybody planning to retire in 2016, will probably live out their entire retirement with construction works around them.

“There will also be disruption to existing [transport] services for a very long time.”

Sir Keir went on to argue that passengers getting off at Old Oak Common will get quicker connections to central London than by going on to Euston.

Differing proposals for Euston station have been adopted and abolished some eight times by the architects of HS2 as they struggle to bring a high speed line through a densely populated area.

The current scheme envisioned would see changes to the station done in stages, with the first work beginning in 2017 and lasting beyond 2033. While much of the impact would be felt in the south of the borough, there will be construction work in Adelaide Road and South Hampstead, with HGV routes also earmarked to go up north through Hampstead.

All of this, the group argued, could be alleviated should HS2 stop at Old Oak Common.

But Timothy Mould QC, lead council for the department of transport, said this would be an “intolerable” option.

Current modelling, he said, showed that for 60 per cent of potential HS2 passengers, Euston was the preferred station to Old Oak Common.

He told the committee: “The case for the railway to terminate at Old Oak Common is one which has not only been considered and rejected by the promoters [of HS2] but is also not supported by Transport for London.

“It would cause delays to passenger journeys, take Crossrail completely beyond capacity, [and] we would be left with a railway significantly less resilient.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Yesterday, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Yesterday, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.

Yesterday, 11:55

Passengers on the Barking to Gospel Oak line have become used to delays and disruption in recent times.

Wed, 17:58

A man has been convicted over the “senseless” stabbing of a Dutch man in Camden Lock in 2016.

Wed, 17:04

Camden Council will correct a sign that says a park will be closed every day at dusk, despite it having no way to shut it.

Wed, 13:01

A Cumbrian couple have been left scared for their property after receiving a bailiff’s letter demanding council tax for a Maida Vale property they have no connection to.

Wed, 12:26

Barnet Council has apologised to residents after bungled changes to bin collections saw households going nearly two weeks without having them emptied


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now