We have found out today that HS2’s terminal station at Euston is being shrunk to make more space for property developers. This is the very worst sort of short-term thinking. It may sound arcane and nerdy, but the number of platforms that Euston has is absolutely critical to the capacity of the whole railway.
If we are going to go through the disruption and upheaval of building a new railway line all the way from London to Manchester and Leeds, it’s only right that we can then make the very best use of it to get people out of cars and planes. That means running as many trains on it as we possibly can.
The original design of HS2 enables it to run 18 trains per hour in each direction. The key thing that limits it is the number of platforms at Euston. Running those 18 trains needs 11 platforms. The new plan reduces that to 10. Without that extra platform, you could only ever run 16 tph.
So that’s 2 trains every hour that now can’t run, every day, for ever and ever. There’s no chance of adding that platform back in later. That’s 60 trains a day that some towns or cities in the North or in the Midlands now won’t have – all because of some Treasury penny-pinching right now, to benefit London property developers.
We think that this is something Greens, and anyone else interested in the future of our transport, should campaign to stop. HS2 is happening. If done right, it supports our Green climate and transport agenda. Don’t let developers’ greed and government short-sightedness throttle our rail network for ever!