With rail passenger numbers having doubled over the last 20 years, it is vital that we build for new capacity across the UK. With this in mind, the Transport Select Committee, of which I have been a member for the last 4 years, visited the site of the new HS2 development at London Euston.
We began the event with an introductory talk on the vision for Euston and HS2 which was provided by Chief Executive, Mark Thurston and the Euston Programme Director, Rob Carr. The talk explained the benefits of the new development at Euston and the ways in which they are going to give back to the local community. The redevelopment aims to provide 3,800 new homes in the Euston area and allow people to have more freedom over where they choose to live and work.
Following the talk, we visited the main HS2 work site to view the areas that were outlined in the plan for the redevelopment of the station. We were able to see the progress that the HS2 team had already made in regenerating the area and preparing it for the development. During the visit, we were introduced to the archaeology programme in Euston and the history of St James’s burial ground. We saw first-hand the work that the archaeologists were doing to excavate the area and take remains off-site for research and educational purposes.
Successive Governments have failed to deliver projects which take longer to deliver than the next election cycle. This project is a good example of an investment in the longer-term; boosting the economy for years to come and opening up new opportunities for the UK. HS2 will provide thousands of new jobs along the route and will link eight out of ten of Britain’s largest cities, allowing businesses across the country to thrive. For example, the Greater Manchester HS2 Growth Strategy has the potential to double the economic output of the region to £132 billion by 2050 and, the Leeds City Region predicts that their HS2 growth strategy will create a £54 billion boost to the regional economy by 2050. As well as this, for every £1 spent on HS2 the UK will receive £2.30 in benefits.