Westminster petition’s HS2 Bill

 

HS2 - 2nd

Because of the purdah before the local elections in May 2014, it was not publicised that Councils like City of Westminster had petitioned the HS2 Hybrid Bill Environment statement after a resolution was passed in the last full council of the previous term.

The council wants to ensure that adverse impacts from the scheme in Westminster & Central London are minimal in two critical aspects the route alignment and  in Queens Park ward and the Salusbury Road ventilation shaft.

On the first matter, the Council doesn’t consider the route proposed through Westminster within Queen’s Park Ward is the best route. It passes through a predominantly residential area, with a number of listed buildings and Conservation Area which are known to have history of structural problems and the experience of noise, vibration and subsidence problems could lead to blight. So the City Council proposes the route should be realigned slightly to the North so that it passes under the existing West Coast Main Line. In this respect, please refer to the diagram above.

As for the ventilation shaft, the City Council is concerned with the visual intrusion and the impact during the construction and any associated impacts on the surrounding residential area. And does not think it adequately proposes alternative locations for the shaft. This can be visually seen in the diagram below.

More importantly is some ways its very concerned about the transportation effects in the City resulting from the Euston Terminus. Firstly the suitability of the provision of the necessary integration of services to get passengers to and from Euston including the Underground, bus and taxi passengers, For example the Environment Statement recognises 17 per cent increase in passengers boarding the tubes at Euston and focuses on additional journey time but doesn’t not look at the adverse impact to passengers of overcrowding. Clearly this is a push for Crossrail 2.

Secondly it is also concerned about road closures associated with the construction and operation of the proposed Euston terminus would result in diversion of traffic, leading to the increase traffic flows and pedestrian severance on some roads in Westminster. It is considered a significant adverse effect on air quality along for example the Edgware Rd ( A5) as material are excavated with no mitigating measures proposed.

Thus the Council welcomes the provision of HS2 station at Old Oak Common given the interchange and redevelopment opportunities this will provide with the Great Western Main Line, Crossrail 1, Heathrow Airport, the North London & West London line to lessen the impact on Central London, particularly at Paddington. Clearly the City of Westminster accepts that Old Oak Common provided more and better interchange options to passengers than Euston. Now that’s saying something!

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