Possible London outskirts terminus for HS2 slammed as ‘nonsensical’


Reports that HS2 would end on the outskirts of London to save money have drawn sharp criticism from Northern Powerhouse Partnership chief executive, Henri Murison.

The Sun newspaper reported that rising inflation and construction costs mean HS2 trains may terminate at Old Oak Common, in the suburbs of west London, instead of at Euston.

The paper said bosses were considering pushing back the Euston terminus to 2038, or scrapping it completely.

But responding today – 27 January – Murison said: “As well as the obvious difficulties for travellers needing to then change train to get into central London, Old Oak Common simply does not have enough platforms to deliver a full service between London and Manchester, never mind to Leeds and beyond.

Henri Murison

“I struggle to believe that [Chancellor] Jeremy Hunt, a longstanding advocate for HS2, would ever support such a nonsensical plan.

“The problem with whittling down major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail is that the new, cheaper versions do not deliver the productivity transformation we were promised and, ironically, are less good value for money.

“It’s a false economy, and there are more sensible ways to address the issue of inflation in costs – which is occurring across all major construction projects.

“Lastly, a reminder that the main point of HS2 was not to reduce journey times but to create capacity on our hugely over-stretched network. Those who claim HS2 is only there to shave a few minutes off the time to London have entirely missed the point.”

Reacting to the Sun report, Jeremy Hunt has now publicly pledged that the new high speed rail line will connect to London Euston as originally planned.

The Chancellor told the BBC: “I don’t see any conceivable circumstance in which that would not end up at Euston.”