For a futile fast track project it’s taking a very long time

COMMENT: HS2 – endless delays, costs have trebled, and hundreds of Camden residents have been left to rot in unacceptable living conditions

Thursday, 10th March

hs2 site CNJ Image 2020-06-25 at 11.52.50 (17)

HS2 construction site in Euston

BY the time HS2 Euston station is built, a generation of children will have grown up in homes surrounded by the near constant noise and dirt of one of Europe’s largest building sites.

It already feels like a lifetime has passed since HS2 was first officially announced by the government back in 2010.

There will be many people in Camden regarding the latest faux fanfare announcement that will feel as if they would rather be dead.

Regent’s Park estate residents have been treated with contempt by this project that is not even halfway done.

Since 2010 there have been years of public meetings, court hearings and Commons select committee showdowns.

The current estimate is that the Euston terminus will be operational in 2036, 25 years after it was first announced.

What miracles other than an HS2 station in Euston could be achieved in this long time?

The pharaohs laboured over the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt – one of the wonders of the world – for just 20 years.

The classic beauty of the Mughal emperor’s Taj Mahal Palace, was constructed in a mere 21.

Mount Rushmore or Buckingham Palace could both have been completed before an HS2 station.

NASA could have sent another New Horizons spacecraft on a three billion mile fly-by to Pluto in 2010, and been back in time for the grand opening.

In 2015, when Keir Starmer was merely a Labour MP, he told a Commons select committee “some children will be born and grow up knowing nothing other than construction works … at the same time, people will live out their entire retirement with construction works going on”.

A week before he had criticised the upper echelons of the party for backing HS2, saying: “The only way HS2 is going to be stopped is if one of the big parties withdraws its support.

“Obviously, the place I can best work on this is the Labour Party.

“It is a massively difficult task, but I am going to try my best. Minds have got to be pushed.”

Now as Labour leader, he has travelled the country pushing minds in support of HS2 with the party’s manifesto commitment to “build it in full”.

There have been endless delays, costs have trebled, and hundreds of Camden residents have been left to rot in unacceptable living conditions.

But at every stage the grand shambles has repeatedly enjoyed safe passage through the House of Commons. Why?

Related Articles