HS2 Euston Station can be built to budget and open early

Aaron Morby 10 months ago
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Mace chief Mark Reynolds has called for a speedy restart of construction for the London HS2 terminus in Euston.

Reynolds says there is a deliverable and cost-effective solution for HS2 Euston Station
Reynolds says there is a deliverable and cost-effective solution for HS2 Euston Station

New pared-down plans for HS2’s terminus at Euston will be built with just six platforms, almost half of its original scope, according to Government documents released yesterday.

The new design will also axe a planned tunnel connecting the HS2 terminus to Euston Square tube station.

Reynolds said the newly-revised plans could deliver the Euston Station terminus within the existing budget and earlier than expected.

He warned that if the vast station project is delayed further an opportunity would be missed to activate the potential of a new development zone around the large site announced yesterday by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The government aims to establish a Development Corporation to create a transformed ‘Euston Quarter’, modelling the successful regeneration of Battersea Power Station, Nine Elms and Kings Cross.

It will potentially offer up to 10,000 homes – five times the number of its close neighbour King’s Cross – and a huge expansion of commercial and laboratory space.

The government announced last March that work on the station would be paused for two years in a bid to cut costs. According to the public accounts committee these have nearly doubled to £4.8bn from an original estimate of £2.6bn.

Yesterday Sunak also revealed that client HS2 would no longer be responsible for managing the Euston site. The Government will appoint a development company, separate from HS2 Ltd, to manage the delivery of the Euston regeneration project

He said: “There must be some accountability for the mistakes made, for the mismanagement of this project.

“We have spent four years on two unaffordable designs, with a gold-plated and over-specified station. That will change.

“We are going to strip back the project and deliver a station that works, and that can be open and running trains as soon as possible, and which has the leadership in place to deliver maximum value to the taxpayer.”

“We will instead create a new Euston development zone building thousands of new homes for the next generation of homeowners, new business opportunities and a station that delivers the capacity we need and in doing so, for the first time in the life cycle of this project – we will have cut costs.”

A joint venture between Mace and Spanish contractor Dragados is delivering the vast London station scheme.

Reynolds, Chairman and CEO of Mace, responded to the announcement warning that work should not be delayed any further at Euston.

“HS2 will not deliver the growth and capacity we need without it terminating in central London – and so it is positive news for the country and the industry that the Prime Minister has committed once again to build the new station at Euston, working with the private sector to find a solution that works for everyone.

“His proposed Euston business and development zone may work, but the detail will be critical.

He added: “We know there is a deliverable and cost-effective solution to Euston Station that can be built within the existing budget, allowing the station to open much earlier; enabling housing and placemaking to be offered sooner; and most importantly that delivers the best value to the taxpayer.

“We look forward to working with the Government to bring those proposals forward.

“It is important that we push on ahead with delivering the station at speed, providing clarity to industry on the pipeline of work and avoiding further disruption to the local community.”

 

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