04 October 2023

Rishi Sunak strips HS2 bosses of responsibility for Euston

04 October 2023

HS2 Ltd has been stripped of responsibility for Euston station as there “must be some accountability for the mistakes made”, the Prime Minister said.

Rishi Sunak used his speech at the Conservative Party conference to confirm that the high-speed railway will reach the central London station after developing a plan that will generate cost savings of £6.5 billion.

The Government announced in February it was pausing HS2 work at Euston because costs had ballooned to £4.8 billion compared with an initial budget of £2.6 billion.

The Prime Minister said: “The management of HS2 will no longer be responsible for the Euston site.

There must be some accountability for the mistakes made, for the mismanagement of this project

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

“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.

“In doing so, for the first time in the lifecycle of this project, we will have cut costs.

“The £6.5 billion of savings that Mark (Transport Secretary Mark Harper) and I are making will be taken from the Euston site and given to the rest of the country.”

A No 10 source said the £6.5 billion figure is a combination of replanning the project after considering “what is no longer required” and a developer contribution model such as the one used in Battersea, south-west London.

The PA news agency approached HS2 Ltd for a comment.

The website of the Euston Partnership, which already exists, said it attempts to “ensure a collective focus on driving forward benefits for all those who live, work and travel through Euston”.

Among its members are HS2 Ltd, the Department for Transport, Network Rail, Transport for London and Camden Council.

Old Oak Common in the suburbs of west London will be the high-speed railway’s initial terminus in the capital.

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