HS2: Khan seeking rethink on Euston station extension

Euston Station HS2

London mayor Sadiq Khan is calling for a review of plans for extension and rebuild of Euston Station for HS2, suggesting the planned station at Old Oak Common would make a better temporary terminus while Euston is rebuilt. Speaking on London's LBC radio, Khan said the disruption likely during extension of Euston as currently planned should be looked at again. Old Oak Common's Crossrail station would provide a better link for HS2 to the wider London transport network, he said.

The latest plans for developing Euston for Phase 1 involve building six new platforms for HS2 trains to the west of the existing station in readiness for the opening of Phase 1 in 2026. A further five platforms will then be built within the station's existing footprint for the opening of Phase 2 of HS2 in 2033.

Councillors and MPs representing Camden constituencies have objected to the plans due to the disruption likely. Khan said: "I’ve also got concerns whether Euston is the right station for the London part of HS2. The disruption during the building works will cause huge inconvenience due to the numbers of homes being destroyed during the construction works. Euston station doesn’t have links to Crossrail, so one of the things that I’m looking at is whether Old Oak Common could be a temporary terminus for HS2 while the Euston plans are looked at again."

The possibility of terminating HS2 temporarily at Old Oak Common have been considered before in studying options for Euston, however. The current proposals are now included in the HS2 Phase 1 hybrid bill being read in the House of Lords and expected to reach Royal Assent before the end of this year.

A HS2 spokesman said: "The stumbling block for the option of terminating at Old Oak Common is that the Crossrail station there alone would not provide enough capacity for the number of passengers arriving on HS2. We also know from passenger surveys that two thirds of people do not want to alight at a station outside central London.

The total cost for the Phase 1 and Phase 2 HS2 work at Euston is estimated at £2.25bn. An enabling works contract for the Phase 1 work is due to be let by HS2 Ltd after Royal Assent is granted, with work expected to start in 2017.

Government and HS2 Ltd have committed to keeping 11 of the station's 18 existing platforms open at all times during the extension project. The plans include extension to the Euston Underground station and provision of underpinning structures to allow for new over site development at the existing station, which may be redeveloped concurrently to the HS2 work, but this is yet to be included in Network Rail's investment plans.