Half-Billion debacle means new plans for HS2 Euston lean-to.
The plans to completely knock down and rebuild Euston station as part of the HS2 scheme have now officially been scrapped, after the costs of the project were under estimated £500m. Eleven new platforms, would start from were platform 16 currently stands, flattening Cardington Street, St James’s Gardens and Euston Square.
In a statement which will surely fill taxpayers with complete confidence that the costs of HS2 will not continue to spiral, Clinton Leeks, HS2′s parliamentary liaison officer, said: “All forecasts are forecasts.”
All the previously billed benefits of HS2 such as 1,500 homes and a green space to replace St James’s Gardens have been scrapped.
Disengenuosly, HS2 Ltd tried to claim that part of the reason for taking this action was ‘listening to the views of the community’, whilst the reality is that it is all about the costs. The majority of the properties threatened with demolition in Camden are still due to be knocked down, as it was not the station that they were being cleared for, but the extension of lines running into the station. The graphics produced by HS2 Ltd of the new station design show no sign of the Ainsdale, Silverdale and Eskdale blocks which currently stand on the Regents Park Estate, which has always been the plan. However, it seems that the news for residents has actually got worse as the Cartmel Block is now also conspicuous by it’s absence.
The leader of Camden Council, Sarah Hayward, said:
“The new plans being put forward by HS2 Ltd amount to a shed being bolted on to an existing lean-to. Euston stands to have all of the blight with none of the benefits. There will be no regeneration or economic benefits while homes will be demolished, communities destroyed and businesses wiped out. This entire scheme is ill conceived and poorly planned – and Camden will bear the brunt of HS2’s incompetence.”
Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2 said;
“HS2 Ltd allowed a huge percentage for contigencies when the plans were developed, but this £500 million underestimate on rebuilding Euston costs is simply incompetence on their part. Many people have said right from the start that HS2 will overrun it’s budget. There are cost cutting measures along the entirety of the Phase 1 line, and the government wants to introduce a Paving Bill in Parliament to allow them to spend even more of taxpayers’ money. We think the best way of cutting costs and saving money is to scrap HS2 completely.”
Joe Rukin, Stop HS2 Campaign Coordinator said;
“Every time HS2 Ltd have dismissed alternatives to their insane project, they have said they don’t want to do patch and mend, but now they have been forced to by their half-billion pound cock-up. It is absolutely disgusting that they have the cheek to say that part of the reason for these changes is because they are listening to the community, as the social housing they are knocking down is still due to go and it looks like another block might be lost. All of the sweeteners they had been proposing have gone, making HS2 an even more bitter pill for Camden.”
“Euston, you have a problem?!”
Hardly original, I know, but HS2 do come up with these grandiose but increasingly DafT plans – there has even been talk of buying back and re-siting remaining bits of the Doric arch as a gesture to a previous era of vandalism – only to crash at the first hurdle. One cannot deny their nerve, however, as Mr Burns showed in Parliament yesterday 25 April when, with unashamed bare-faced cheek, he declared his ‘belief’ in the project, immediately after HS2 had picked itself up from flattening its Euston Flagship into a shed but then fallen at the second hurdle of Ealing, where, having promised above-ground misery, it will now dive underground.
No wonder the govt rejoiced at elevating an ex-miner to run the show. What better choice could there be when digging an ever bigger hole for the nation?
While in the HS2 office, they’ll be saying: “Look chaps, we’ve done two U-turns in as many weeks. That means we must be going straight ahead again! Tally Ohhh!” “Oh, no, we’ve done another!”
What are meta(s)phor? For using and mixing.
And yet, and yet, hallelujah, there is enough money to fund a £600m curve round the Chancellor’s Tatton constituency …..