Talks start on private cash for HS2 Euston

Transport secretary Mark Harper has revealed that discussions have started on raising private investment to fund the construction of the central London station for HS2 at Euston.

Mr Harper made a statement to the House of Commons yesterday on the first day that it had reassembled after the conference recess.

The Prime Minister had told the Conservative Party conference on 4 October that the section of HS2 between Old Oak Common and Euston is still in the plans, although the project has been put on hold in response to sharply rising costs.

Mr Harper said talks took place with the Euston Partnership Board last week. The Board is a group of stakeholders which was set up in 2020, and is chaired by Lord Hendy. It involves representatives of the Department for Transport, HS2 Ltd, Network Rail, development partner Lendlease, Transport for London, the Greater London Authority, the London Borough of Camden and the West Coast Partnership.

He explained: ‘The facts have changed, so we are changing our approach. With work well under way, we will finish HS2 between London Euston and the west midlands. Just last week, I spoke to the Euston Partnership Board on the huge regeneration opportunity that can be unlocked with private investment.’

Labour’s shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh responded: ‘The consequences of this shambles are no joke; they are profound. There will be owners of small and medium-sized enterprises that have bet the house on HS2. People will lose their jobs this side of the general election as a result of this decision—homes, farms and businesses all sold, the countryside carved up, and Euston a hole in the ground, and for what? He has wasted £45 billion on a line between Old Oak Common and Birmingham that no one asked for and that has no business case. Only in Conservative-run Britain could a high-speed train hit the slow-coach lane the second it hits the north of England.’

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