HS2 (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
March 19, 2014
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


I think one of the problems with the Higgins Report is that there is still no recognition of the inadequate compensation arrangements for Camden residents, where they are going to be rehoused, the impact on the Drummond Street businesses that are going to be ruined, the lack of the mitigation measures for those who live near the works, that has not been covered in the Higgins Report at all.



Supplementary To: 


Answer for HS2 (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for HS2 (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

No it has not.


Andrew Dismore AM:  Nor has, in fact, the importance of building simultaneously Crossrail 2, so that when people get off HS2 they do not suddenly find that they end up at Euston Station Underground finding it closed because of overcrowding.


I am a bit concerned about what you have just had to say about the HS2/1 link because the Higgins Report finally recognised that it was a silly idea to devastate Camden Town for ten years to build this on the existing railway tracks.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  No, we will not do that.


Andrew Dismore AM:  I am very concerned that you still seem to think that we want an HS2/HS1 link.  Is it about time you started listening to your father again?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  No.  Just so you understand what I am saying, Andrew, TfL’s objection to the HS1/HS2 link, as it was initially proposed, is that it did indeed clog up the existing tracks in a way that would be completely detrimental to freight carriage and to passenger carriage in London.  We thought that the scheme was hopeless.  What you could ultimately do is do it in tunnel.  You should do it in tunnel or you should go all the way out to Stratford and you should basically build a Crossrail 3 and that is where we will end up.


On your point about compensation in Camden and all that kind of thing, I think there are patently strong voices being raised against what is happening in Camden and they are not yours, so far as I can make out.  Clearly, that needs to be reflected.


One proposal is to have something called ‘double deck down’, which you will be familiar with.  That is basically to save a lot of the disruption in Camden by doing as they do at Grand Central Station in New York.  You have two tiers, so you would be able to contract the overall footprint of the site and have less disruption.  I know that HS2 is going to be looking into that.  What I cannot tell you now is that they are going to be able to promise it because intuitively most parties would agree that it would almost certainly add to the cost and probably also to the delay.  It might also make it more difficult to deliver the regeneration that we want to see in Euston.


Andrew Dismore AM:  Do you support double deck down?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I will support anything that is cost‑effective and that reduces disruption.


Darren Johnson AM (Chair):  Thank you very much.  Let us move on, then, to the next question on the order paper.