Council hits out at government over Euston HS2 delays – with residents ‘left in limbo’

The HS2 construction site at Euston. Photograph: Julia Gregory

Town Hall bosses said delays over HS2’s new central London station mean “Euston, we have a problem” .

Camden Council released a film highlighting its frustration that residents who have endured noise and disruption are left with a “building site”.

In March the government put the brakes on building an HS2 station at Euston to bring passengers into central London. It said the scheme was too expensive.

Instead, it focussed work on an alternative station at Old Oak Common in west London.

The council film comes as a report by the parliamentary public accounts committee, which said the £2.6 billion budget for Euston station was “completely unrealistic, even before the impacts of inflation are considered.”

It said the government has to rethink it for a second time “to find a design that is realistic, affordable and provides value for money.”

Council leader Georgia Gould renewed her attack on “the uncertainty and turmoil because of years of government delay and indecision.”

She said the pause in work at HS2 at Euston has left “a scar separating out our community”, and that residents of Regent’s Park and Somers Town should not be abandoned.

She said: “It is costing our communities, who have already faced huge disruption and have now been left in limbo.

“They have lost homes, businesses and green space in Euston with nothing to show for it apart from an abandoned construction site.”

She said: “If you are a child born today you are likely to live your life under a construction site.”

Her demands include more meanwhile spaces, office spaces and pop-up spaces and she said “this pause needs to be used properly.”

Resident Sufia Chowdhury said: “Residents can’t even open their windows because of noise and dust.”

She called for better measures to limit noise.

Cllr Gould demanded that HS2 and the government draws up a designed and costed plan for a single station at Euston. She said it would “save money and deliver a thriving place with new jobs and homes for our community, and economic opportunities for the country”.

In January the council won £29.2m in compensation from HS2 and the Department for Transport to move affected families out of the estate.

It followed years of campaigning by residents and Camden Council, which lobbied Parliament because HS2 was approved there.

Campaigners who opposed the impact of the high speed link from Manchester to Euston dug a 100ft tunnel under Euston Square Gardens in 2021 and staged a protest there, whilst others camped above before they were evicted.

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