HS2 will reach Euston says Jeremy Hunt
Following reports that HS2 is considering scrapping its Euston terminus or pushing it back until 2038, Jeremy Hunt has said he does not see “any conceivable circumstance” in which HS2 would not end at Euston.
The Sun had claimed that soaring costs and rising inflation meant that HS2 may end at Old Oak Common station, leaving commuters to join the Elizabeth line to complete their journey into the city centre.
The Chancellor said: “We have not got a good record in this country of delivering complex, expensive infrastructure quickly but I’m incredibly proud that for the first time in this last decade under a Conservative government we have shovels in the ground, we are building HS2 and we are going to make it happen.”
The High Speed Raid group has said that, “cancelling Euston would be the height of folly”.
“The construction site is already very well progressed. Works have been underway there for 5 years and already hundreds of millions have been spent.
“Old Oak Common station has nowhere near enough platforms to serve as the London terminus. Indeed, if it was, there would only be enough capacity to allow London-Birmingham shuttle services on HS2. In very simple terms, if Old Oak Common is the terminus, you cannot have HS2 services reaching Manchester. If you cut off Euston, you also cut off Manchester and the rest of the north.
“Finally, if the suggestion is to merely delay the opening of Euston, then it is true that you may save some money in the very short term. But by delaying works, allowing more construction inflation to creep in, you will actually add to the overall cost. It would be a total false economy.
“We need to take a long term view and build HS2 in full.”
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The government remains committed to delivering HS2 to Manchester, as confirmed in the autumn statement.
“As well as supporting tens of thousands of jobs, the project will connect regions across the UK, improve capacity on our railways and provide a greener option of travel.”