Full impact of HS2 on Queen’s Park and St John’s Wood revealed

The ‘West End Extra’ reports;

“Hundreds of construction lorries will be thundering along the streets of Westminster every day for several years under plans to build a new high-speed train line from London.

The “major adverse impact” of the government’s plans for HS2 have been laid bare for the first time in a 50,000-page report published in the House of Commons.

It confirms plans to demolish several buildings to make way for a giant ventilation shaft in Queen’s Park and another in Loudon Road near St John’s Wood.

The proposals were described as “appalling” by residents and fears were raised that it would create a “massive blight” that “ruins the local environment for all time”.

The £50billion project, connecting Euston with Birmingham, will require a tunnel to be dug beneath Westminster.

Residents and businesses face disruptive construction work spread over more than six years at the site in Salusbury Road with up to 100 HGVs arriving each day during the busiest two-year period.

A second vent shaft will be built in Loudon Road near St John’s Wood, which will result in the demolition of a parade of shops and several residential properties and will see an additional 100 HGVs a day travel to the site near George Eliot Primary School and Quintin Kynaston academy.

The bill says residents of St John’s Wood “could experience combined effects from a significant increase in HGV movements and significant air quality effects, from vehicle emissions,” adding: “The combination of these effects will have a major adverse effect on the amenity of residents.”

It says the massive increase in HGVs and “dust-generating activities” from the works will cause “significant noise” for thousands of people and euphemistically describes the six-year disturbance as “reduced tranquillity”.

It predicts residents of Salusbury Road, Claremont Road and Kilburn Lane will “experience significant noise effects” and “significant visual effects” while the works take place.

HS2 shed

Two buildings, a car park, public toilets and a bus shelter will be demolished at the Queen’s Park site off Premier Corner and Kilburn Lane.

They will be replaced with a ventilation shaft reaching 50metres below ground and a large “headhouse” building that will allow access to maintenance crews and provide an emergency exit from the HS2 line.

If MPs vote in favour of the plans, excavation work is expected to begin in 2018 and the site will be not be completed until 2024.

Premier House, which currently serves as a “welfare facilities” centre giving Underground staff somewhere to spend their breaks, and the former Keniston Press printworks will both be demolished to make way for the shaft.

The pay-and-display car park will be ripped up and replaced with a 33-metre long and five-metre high electricity transformer which will be visible from the street behind a metal fence.

Queen’s Park resident Julius Hogben said: “It’s appalling, it’s worse than we were expecting.

“It will cause traffic gridlock for miles and miles around and will be an absolute nightmare. London will come to a standstill, it’s just so ridiculous. I continue to hope that the whole thing is just going to fall into a black hole.”

Ward councillor Paul Dimoldenberg said: “These plans not only threaten hundreds of local properties in Queen’s Park but will leave a massive blight on the local environment when the giant ventilation shaft is built in Salusbury Road.
“From the images released by HS2, the proposed building will be a massive ugly grey shed which will ruin the local environment for all time””


This entry was posted in HS2, Queen's Park, St John's Wood, Westminster North and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Full impact of HS2 on Queen’s Park and St John’s Wood revealed

  1. John Burns says:

    HS2 Ltd and the government are taking dedicated high-speed track, which is capable of running trains at 250mph directly into four cities, London being one of them. On the approaches to cities where the train is slowing to stop at the terminal station, the speed of the train will be no more than existing inter-city trains. High-speed train can also run on existing classic tracks. So why is a new track being laid into London when the existing tracks are more than adequate? None of this makes sense.

    HS2 Ltd keep on about “capacity” and that the existing classic West Coast Main Line (WCML) is near capacity on the Birmingham to London section. Euston station at peak time is only operating at around 60% of its capacity. To alleviate capacity on the WCML section south of Birmingham trains can be taken off the line. The Birmingham train, before Euston was rebuilt in 1968, terminated at Paddington station on a line via High Wycombe. This line can be updated and electrified and the Birmingham train return to its old home at Paddington. The line through the Chilterns can also be used for essential regional and local rail. Manchester has three London trains per hour giving 20,000 seats per day with only 5,000 taken up. Before HS2 was announced Manchester only has two trains per hour – a obvious ploy to justify HS2 on capacity grounds. If there is a problem with capacity, inter-city trains can be doubled in length. This only means lengthening platforms. The WCML is full of trains not passengers.

    Common sense would dictate to have HS2 250mph tracks as the backbone of the HS2 network and then run into cities on the existing classic tracks as the train is slowing up, and directly into the existing stations, which can be altered for the longer platform lengths. The plan is to rebuild Euston station and rip apart parts of London, similar with Birmingham and Leeds. Manchester is to have a super-expensive 7.5 mile tunnel under the city to the existing station. This is all unnecessary and a waste of money. Money which can be used to upgrade and expand existing local rail around the UK – where the real “need” is and where rail can enable economic growth creation.

    For London the best solution is terminate HS2 trains at Old Oak Common and have top class Underground, Overground and regional rail access to a new dedicated HS2 station. Also Old Oak Common is easier for car access to the station, which Euston, and other London terminals, clearly are not. There is no overall plan for high-speed rail for the whole of the UK. If the whole scheme had been pre-planned, HS1, the line from France, would have terminated at Old Oak Common with all high-speed trains, such as HS2. Only after the design of HS2 did they realise that an east-west Liverpool to Hull high-speed line, HS3, would be a great advantage for the North of England. The north of England cities are screaming out for HS3, as the journey time form Liverpool to Hull, at 100 miles, takes longer than Liverpool to London, at 212 miles. Many are saying HS3 is the priority, not another fast line into London. The whole thing is shambolic, designed and run by amateurs, who make it up as they go along.

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