Transport secretary axes section of HS2 rail link that threatened Camden markets

13:58 17 March 2014

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced a section of the HS2 rail link in Camden will be scrapped. Picture: PA/Joe Giddens

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced a section of the HS2 rail link in Camden will be scrapped. Picture: PA/Joe Giddens

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Transport secetary Patrick McLoughlin has announced a controversial section of the HS2 rail link which would have decimated Camden Town for a decade has been scrapped.

Mr McLoughlin has announced he will remove the link between High Speed 1 and High Speed 2 services, set to run over Camden Town and connect proposed HS2 rail services at Euston with Eurostar services at St Pancras International, from the HS2 Bill currently going through parliament.

He will look at other ways of linking HS2 with the continent.

Several iconic bridges would have been demolished under the plans for the HS1-HS2 link and 10 years of major construction involving hundreds of HGVs would likely have caused a significant rise in noise and air pollution.

Many businesses also feared construction would plunge large areas of Camden Town into a “decade of disruption”– with trading groups warning that 9,000 jobs would be lost and that the world-famous Camden markets could see stall-owners closing or leaving.

The transport secretary said he agreed with concerns about the proposed HS1-HS2 link raised in a report by HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins published this morning.

Mr McLoughlin also agreed with Sir David’s view, expressed in his report, that a more-expansive Euston station - the HS2 London terminus - should be considered.

Mr McLoughlin said he was asking HS2 Ltd and Network Rail to “develop more comprehensive proposals for the development of Euston”.

The Higgins’ report said a new station at Crewe in Cheshire should be completed by 2027, six years ahead of schedule.

It also recommended that phase two of HS2 - taking the line north from Birmingham in a Y-shape to the north west and north east of England, could be finished by the end of 2030 - three years earlier than planned.

Mr McLoughlin responded by saying he was asking HS2 Ltd and Network Rail to look at the phase two proposals.

Phase one of HS2 would see a line running from London through Tory heartlands to Birmingham and is due for completion in 2026.

The current whole-line cost, including contingencies, is £42.6 billion, with £7.5 billion for the trains.

In his report, Sir David said reducing the contingencies, which have pushed the total cost of the project up, would be “irresponsible”.

But he said cost cuts might be possible later and he laid down the gauntlet to politicians by saying the speedier the HS2 legislation, the better for cost reductions.

Sir David said that despite the potential benefits of HS2, he was “conscious of the price - financial, physical and emotional - that HS2 will demand from the country, from communities and from individuals”.

Legislation covering phase one is currently going through parliament.

Mr McLoughlin has said that the legislation will not be completed before the general election.

Speaking in Manchester today after launching his report, Sir David said he was hoping that the HS2 Bill would get Royal Assent in 2016 so that work on phase one could start, as planned, in 2017.

Leader of Camden Council Sarah Hayward said: “The report represents something of a pyrrhic victory for Camden with still no mention by Sir David or the Minister on the unfair and substandard mitigation and compensation for Camden and our residents.

“There’s no doubt that our campaigning, with our communities, has led to the recognition that HS2 will devastate Camden.

“We welcome the recognition that Government plans for both the Euston station and the Link were deeply flawed.

“While I am pleased to see that the Link will be removed from the Bill before Parliament as soon as possible, one has to question why it has taken over four years for this folly to be recognised by Government.

“I urge people who care about Camden not to treat this report as a victory, but simply as a staging post.

“We must continue to fight this scheme and for better outcomes for Camden if Government insists on pressing ahead following the developments today.”

Related articles


Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

7 minutes ago

Highgate residents are protesting against plans for a large home to be built between mansions of “great distinction”.

A group of angry Swiss Cottage residents have launched a campaign group to oppose plans by a private school to build new classrooms


A wheelchair-bound mum remains scared to leave the house, as the bus driver who ran her over at a zebra crossing was banned from driving for six months

25 minutes ago

An 89-year-old pensioner from Kentish Town who has severe dementia has been found.

An appeal has been launched to find a missing 89-year-old man from Kentish Town believed to have severe dementia.


A lorry and a number 17 bus have crashed in Tufnell Park Road, the residential street being used as the main diversion during the A1 closure.


The funeral of a much-loved Hampstead Heath character who was killed in a road accident is being held tomorrow.


Residents in Frognal and Fitzjohns are being warned to protect their post after fresh reports of mail theft and fraud.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news


Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now