Keir Starmer

"Not good enough" - Keir Starmer's verdict on HS2's attempts to devise a plan for Euston

Delivering the keynote speech at the HS2 Action Group AGM on Thursday 11th June, Keir Starmer pointed out that HS2 had come up with no fewer than 9 solutions for Euston – none of them satisfactory. 

Attended by key activists and local residents, the AGM heard from our former MP, Frank Dobson, the campaigner Robert Latham and Cllr. Sally Gimson.

Delivering the keynote speech at the HS2 Action Group AGM on Thursday 11th June, Keir Starmer pointed out that HS2 had come up with no fewer than 9 solutions for Euston – none of them satisfactory. 

Attended by key activists and local residents, the AGM heard from our former MP, Frank Dobson, the campaigner Robert Latham and Cllr. Sally Gimson. 

Keir explained that the approach adopted by HS2 meant that construction of stages one and two (involving building six new platforms and then a further five inside the existing station) alone would continue until between 2026 and 2033. 

This would then be followed by a redevelopment of Euston station itself – something that was currently unfunded and would only begin once the rest had been finished. 

This meant decades of uncertainty, pollution, and massive building works across the whole of the borough. The Regents Park estate would be particularly hard hit. 

To confront this menace Keir said he would do all he could to resist the scheme. He said he was opposed to the plan in principle. 

 “It is an expensive, unnecessary and destructive project,” he told the meeting. But he pointed out that HS2 had the backing of all the major parties, with votes for the project being approved in April 2014 by 452 to 41 votes in Parliament.  

“We need to try to shift the support of at least one of the major parties,” Keir argued. “But it will not be easy.”

The AGM heard speeches from many local residents, who explained how their lives were already being blighted. Some were already ill with stress, before major building had even begun. 

Cllr. Sally Gimson promised that petitioners would receive training and support in making their case as powerfully as possible before the Select Committee.  

Pointing out that the project would not assist restructuring the economy or regenerating the North, Keir Starmer said the key might be cost. “The government will be looking for major savings and HS2 would be a substantial item that could be lost.” 

If HS2 was to proceed Keir argued that Old Oak Common was a much better alternative – with better access and significantly less destruction and pollution. It would also be substantially cheaper. 

Assuming this argument was lost then it was vital that the best solution for Camden should be found. Camden Council will lead, but Keir assured them they would have his full support. 

Residents had a right to full compensation. Issues such as the ‘habitability’ of homes and the alternative accommodation being offered had to be addressed.


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