Government must ‘stop pussyfooting’ with Euston HS2

HS2 train at platform in Euston station, artists impression

Rail union TSSA has called on the government to “stop pussyfooting around” with delays to High Speed 2 (HS2) and place Euston at the heart of the transformative rail project.

The comments come after the publication of a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO) which says Ministers must use recently announced two-year delays on new construction work at the London station to develop design that is ‘affordable, deliverable and value for money’.

TSSA is the recognised trade union for staff working at HS2 and has long been clear that the project should be delivered in full as originally planned – and should have gone all the way to Scotland.

In its report – High Speed Two: Euston – the NAO calls on the government to ‘reassess the expectations for the HS2 Euston project, its budget and the public benefits’.

This follows revisions to the design of the HS2 Euston station going back three years, with the aim of saving money, and following the recent spike in inflation.

Commenting, TSSA Interim General Secretary, Peter Pendle, said: "The government really must stop pussyfooting around with HS2 and Euston in particular.

“Their stop-start approach is wholly counterproductive, not just to costs in the long-term, as the NAO rightly point out, but is also debilitating and shambolic for everyone involved.

“Britain simply can’t afford to be second best and this government must get a grip and realise that HS2 is central to our future up and down the country, for national, regional and local economies alike.

“Clearly Euston is designed to be at the heart of that and Ministers should give a commitment now that this will continue to be the case once their enforced pause is at an end.

“The project has already been scaled back, and the latest two-year delay is a huge concern for achieving the jobs and improvements to rail services that communities across the country so badly need.”