This is a guest article by Richard Lloyd
They said: “Everyone wants a station, no-one wants the line”
So far, HS2 has 4 stations, and every one of them is in the wrong place.
Euston – the line should have started at St Pancras – the Channel Tunnel line was re-routed from Waterloo across to the north side of London in order to facilitate routes to the North.
Old Oak Common – in the middle of nowhere, there is no need for a line to the North to go to the West of London at all – and even if a link to Heathrow is wanted, this is a hugely inconvenient and expensive way of doing it.
Bickenhill – also in the middle of nowhere, chosen because of the potential to unlock greenbelt land for development, and also with inconvenient and expensive links to the NEC, Birmingham Airport, and the existing Birmingham International Station (which is so far from the route, it’s not on HS2 Ltd maps).
Curzon Street – this terminus has no connections to Wales, Wolverhampton or the Birmingham suburbs, all requiring a 400 metre walk up the platform and the use of some unspecified supersonic travelator to New Street station before descending two flights of escalators into a hole in the ground where the same old platforms and tunnels will survive the £600M re-build of everything above.
This is a prime example of what happens when grandiose projects are cooked up in secret. Had the plans been developed in public, it’s quite possible something far more useful, realistic, cheaper, and acceptable would have been proposed.