Keir Starmer

Statement on the Lord's Report about HS2

On 15th December 2016 the House of Lord's Select Committee on High Speed Rail published their report.

Keir Starmer's statement below:

I welcome the recommendation of the Select Committee that the Voluntary Purchase Scheme should be extended to Camden. As local campaigners and I have long argued, the impact of the HS2 construction works on those living in the Euston area is unprecedented both in intensity and duration.

The compensation proposal will benefit 1,350 families, both home owners and tenants. It rightly secures fair treatment for residents in urban areas, instead of assuming that they are less impacted by noise pollution than people living in rural areas.

I also welcome the Committee’s recommendation that the government must ensure that funding is provided for the comprehensive redevelopment of Euston station. The Hybrid Bill merely makes provision for half a station at Euston, the completion of which is now to be delayed until 2033. If the country is to invest £56bn in HS2, we are entitled to expect a world-class station at Euston. The splitting of its design into two different operations will not achieve this objective.

The Hybrid Bill has now been before parliament for over three years. If the government wishes to see the Bill complete its progress through parliament, the Secretary of State should accept these recommendations without delay.  

I would like to pay tribute to those residents and businesses in Camden who have petitioned Parliament, both in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Many will feel that the Select Committee has not gone as far as they would have wished. However, the Bill has been greatly improved through their efforts. I will support their demands for additional mitigation measures as the project moves towards the construction phase.

Keir Starmer, MP, QC
MP for Holborn & St Pancras