One concern about HS2 and Euston, which has cropped up time and again, is what will happen to the extra passengers that HS2 brings to Euston. Euston is already overcrowded and adding on passengers from Phase 2 of HS2, who would otherwise have traveled to Kings Cross and St Pancras, will just increase overcrowding.
This concern was expressed again yesterday, by the London transport commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy, at the launch of the London Infrastructure Plan 2050.
The Guardian reports:
“If HS2 gets there before Crossrail 2, there will an awful lot of people walking around [Euston] because they won’t be able to get on the tube,” Hendy said.
But the issues around HS2 are not limited to overcrowding at Euston.
There are whole questions around HS2’s connectivity in London. HS2 does not connect to any existing London airport: travelling to Heathrow will involve a change of trains at Old Oak Common. If the proposed “estuary airport” were to be built, HS2 would not connect to that. The original HS2 plans did not include a link to HS1, and the retrofitted HS1-HS2 link using the North London Line proved unfeasible.
But even the idea of using Euston as the main London station could be questioned.
Yesterday Boris Johnson also pointed out that the London’s geography would shift eastwards, with Barking being as busy as Piccadilly Circus in 100 years time.
If HS2 had been developed with an eye on the future, then the designers would have paid more attention to where people in the future will want to get to. With the developments in the Docklands, and increasing numbers of businesses located there, then the designers would have seriously considered a new East London station for HS2.
We don’t think HS2 is necessary, but regardless of that, HS2 was badly designed from the start.