HS2: ‘Build it once and build it right’


“Build it once and build it right” – leaders in Manchester and London have come together to urge Government to work with them to deliver the best form of HS2.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Manchester City Council leader Cllr Bev Craig, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Camden Council leader Cllr Georgia Gould have issued a letter to Transport Secretary Mark Harper.

They say it outlines the importance of a Manchester Piccadilly underground station that supports Northern Powerhouse Rail in full, and that HS2 connects with a London terminus at Euston, not six miles outside the city centre.

Manchester City Council and other partners will be making the case for the underground station at Manchester Piccadilly to the High Speed Rail (Crewe-Manchester) Bill Select Committee from 12 June.

The letter in full:

“We are at a critical point in shaping how our country works and how our major economic centres are connected, not just for a couple of decades but for generations to come.

The Western Leg of the HS2 Phase 2b Bill has now reached Committee Stage in the House of Commons, with discussions about the future shape of a Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) – HS2 station at Manchester Piccadilly set to commence in the next few weeks.

The future NPR – HS2 station at Manchester Piccadilly will be at the heart of the UK’s high-speed rail network, and delivering the right solution at Manchester Piccadilly – an underground station that supports NPR in full, is important not just for the North, but for all of the UK, including London and the South East. We therefore want to work with Government to make sure it is built once and built right.

At the same time, we want to ensure HS2 connects with a London terminus at Euston, not six miles outside the city centre. The people of the London Borough of Camden have already made significant sacrifices for the Euston project, with many having had their homes and businesses demolished or relocated. The delay in ensuring the HS2 terminus is in Euston is causing continued frustration and uncertainty for many businesses and communities.

Furthermore, the knock-on effect on London’s transport system as a result of this delay is extremely concerning. Without the Government supporting the acquisition of additional rolling stock for the Elizabeth Line, to carry people between the temporary terminus of Old Oak Common and central London, the capacity benefits of the line could be virtually wiped out due to the delay.

We are clear that London therefore needs support to mitigate the problems caused by this delay, and that the capital, and indeed the rest of the country, needs certainty that the HS2 terminus will be at Euston.

Across the business community, both in London and the North, there is a consensus that current plans for both stations could permanently damage Britain’s economic ambitions. If we are committed to growing our economy, and connecting our cities, then we need to make sure we get this right now, not hamstring the opportunities of future generations.

We will formally make our case to the committee this month, but it is Government that ultimately makes the decision on the right solutions for the NPR – HS2 station at Manchester Piccadilly and at Euston Station. We ask you to now commit to working with us to build it once and build it right.”