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					HIGH SPEED 2: MEMBER BRIEFING APRIL 2010

Background

HS2 Ltd is the company set up by the Government in January 2009 to investigate the case
for high speed rail between London and Scotland. A report by HS2 Ltd was submitted in
December 2009 to the Transport Secretary. It concluded that there was a strong business
case for a high speed link between London and the West Midlands with a recommended
route plan.

The Government published its response and preferred route in the form of a Government
Command Paper on 11 March 2010.

The Command Paper, HS2 report and background papers are available on the DfT
website at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/highspeedrail.

Consultation on these proposals is due to start in the autumn of 2010 and last for a period
of at least six months.

Under the preferred proposal, the recommended route (referred to as Route Option 3)
would run from a rebuilt Euston station to a new Birmingham City Centre station at
Fazeley/Curzon Street. An interchange station is proposed at Old Oak Common in West
London, giving the new line connections to Crossrail, the Great Western main line and the
Heathrow Express. The proposals are initially planned to link London with Birmingham, but
could extend to Manchester and Leeds and onto Scotland.

An interactive route map can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8564154.stm

The Government proposes to secure the powers to deliver HS2 by means of a Hybrid Bill
– through Parliament like CTRL and Crossrail - instead of the Infrastructure Planning
Commission route. The Council’s role in this stage would be as a “petitioner”. Subsequent
detailed elements of the scheme(s) would fall under other relevant approval regimes eg
Transport and Works Act, Planning, etc.

Depending on the outcome of consultations and Parliamentary timescales and approvals if
they are forthcoming, construction would not start until well after the Crossrail scheme is
completed in 2017.

Affected Properties and Hardship Scheme

The Government has also published a consultation on an Exceptional Hardship Scheme
(EHS) aimed at protecting the interests of owner-occupiers of properties particularly
affected by the route. This consultation closes on 20 May. Further details can be found at:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open/2010-18/.

Until the Government has made a final decision that the link should be built there will be
uncertainty as to exactly where the route would go, which properties might be affected and
the environmental impacts on those properties. The aim is that property owners with an
urgent need to move (eg because of health problems) and who are unable to sell their
property because of perceived blight caused by the proposals should not have to wait until
a final route is selected for HS2, but will be able to apply sooner for HS2 to buy their
property.
Main elements and route

Key Features:

      Potential to run 14 or 15 trains per hour (in both directions)
      Initial speeds of up to 360 kmph (225 mph) to reduce the journey time to/from
       central Birmingham to about 49 minutes(though designed to be capable of 400
       kmph/250 mph in the future)
      400m long trains with capacity for about 1100 people
      Freight services
      Powered by overhead electrical cables
      A twin bore tunnel just north of Euston (with tunnelling from Old Oak Common
       towards Euston and spoil being returned back)

Euston Station (see plans below)

This would effectively be a new station comprising 10 HS2 platforms (5 islands) and 14
“standard” platforms (7 islands). This would require an increase of 6 platforms over the
existing 18. Other options were considered but discounted for a number of reasons.

A 400m+ train/platform length would mean extending a station south to the north edge of
Euston Square Gardens and demolition of the office blocks to the front (owned by Network
Rail/Sydney and London)

It would include a new station concourse at street level above the 24 platforms at a lower
level. A new underground station concourse would sit further below this platform level.

To expand the existing track “throat” and create new track access to these additional
platforms the station would need to expand sideways from Melton St/Cardington St to
Cobourg Street; about 75m to the west. This would involve taking in a variety of properties
including hotels, commercial /retail and some residential.

An enlarged station would take it immediately next to Maria Fidelis School and northwards
would take in about 2/3rds of St James Gardens, and the BHS Warehouse site on
Hampstead Road.

The widened tracks under Hampstead Road bridge is shown to take in part of the Regents
Park Estate – the blocks earmarked for demolition included in the red line, fully or in part,
includes Eskdale, Ainsdale and Silverdale and the adjacent Stalbridge House and Granby
House. The track widening also takes in part of the Granby Terrace railway depot further
to the north. The precise extent of building demolition is likely to become clearer through
the formal consultation process which will take place this year.

Neighbouring blocks particularly Cartmel, Coniston and Langdale would be affected as
they would be located nearer to the widened deep railway cutting.

Also the eastern side boundary intrudes slightly into the Ampthill Estate (Network Rail own
a strip of land including the community centre and car park on the railway side of the
estate)

The redevelopment of the station is shown as an opportunity for new development above
the new station. The details are extremely limited but this area is indicated as a potential
location for displaced housing and other uses. Assurances have been given that beyond
the red line boundary indicated and route map annotations there are currently no further
proposals to include wider zones of land eg for additional ventilation shafts or construction
work.

Consideration is also being given to the passenger links between Euston and St. Pancras
stations i.e. HS2 and HS1. There are few details of this at present.

Beyond Euston

According to the available information the tracks and platforms would be at a lower level
than the existing to go under Hampstead Road bridge and the HS2 tracks would then
converge and enter a new twin 7.25m diameter tunnel in the bridge area just south of
Parkway alongside existing tracks (in between Park Village East and Delancey
Street/Mornington Terrace). According to the route map by this point the track level
entering the tunnel would be about 20m below street level.

Fig 1: Plan of route through Camden




From this point the section running through Camden is all in tunnel with a track level
variously between about 21 – 39 metres below ground level. The proposed tunnel is
shown to swing north-westwards to skirt around Primrose Hill itself, rather than under, so
passes under residential streets to the north. It follows a line roughly parallel with
properties on the northern side of Chalcot Road and then Oppidans Road (Primrose Hill
Court) before gradually swinging south-westwards under the northern side of King Henrys
Road.

Passing under Swiss Cottage it would go under the Marriott Hotel where an emergency
access point is envisaged on the adjacent car park and also under the Swiss Cottage BSF
site (c.40m under).

Straightening up it would pass under Finchley Road aligning roughly with Boundary Road
before passing under the Mary Green and Mortimer Estates before crossing under Kilburn
High Road in the direction of Queens Park.

In addition to a Euston - St Pancras link further work will be undertaken on looking at
potential links between the HS2 route and the existing HS1 (CTRL) route which may
include using the London Overground North London line.

Further Work and Information

Although officers have met with HS2 Ltd regarding the studies they have been undertaking
currently there is no more information beyond the published reports. The details released
so far through the Department of Transport do not contain sufficient details of how it is
proposed to mitigate a wide range of community and environmental impacts. HS2
Ltd clearly has much more work to do in these areas before the autumn.

Lord Adonis has written to HS2 setting out further work required in advance of consultation
specifically:

      More on assessments and mitigation proposals for noise and other environmental
       impacts
      Working with Camden around the phasing of any development and how affected
       residents would be re-housed
      Working with Camden, TfL and Network Rail around the phasing of any
       development and the impacts on public transport , local businesses and amenities
      Reporting back on the consultation on the Exceptional Hardship Scheme
      The options and assessment of links between Euston and St Pancras Stations and
       between HS2 and the existing HS1 route
      Developing consultation and communication plans with stakeholders prior to the
       autumn

An Appraisal of Sustainability (AoS) of the HS2 proposals is also being prepared. Amongst
other things this should include more detailed assessments of the likely impact on different
socio-economic groups and communities, sustainable development, carbon, health,
property demolitions, noise and vibration, and historic buildings. The AoS is due to be
published to support the main consultation on the HS2 proposals later in the year.

Until this and further information emerges, eg about re -housing options, potential impacts
of vibration from tunnelling works, more detailed analysis and responses to the proposals
will be necessarily curtailed and limited and further information will be sought over the
coming months.

The Council will also need to proactively engage with HS2 Ltd over this
period, emphasising the need for extensive and meaningful consultations with all
communities affected by these proposals. Officers will be seeking to influence the
consultation before and after formal consultation starts in the autumn and pressing the
point that local views and concerns are fully understood in taking these proposals forward.

DfT/HS2 Timetable

March 2010 HS2 Proposals published and Exceptional Hardship Scheme consultation
starts
20 May 2010 Exceptional Hardship Scheme consultation closes
Autumn 2010 Formal public consultation starts-minimum of 6 months
2011         Government’s formal decision and preferred route for London to Birmingham
2011 - 2013 Further assessment and detailed design
2013 - 2014 Further public consultation and Hybrid Bill laid in Parliament
2019          Possible start of construction
2026         Earliest opening of new rail line
Figure 2: Proposed footprint of expanded Euston Station

				
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