High Speed Rail - Transport Committee Contents

Written evidence from Jeff Travers (HSR 151)

This written submission provides evidence relating to the HS2 proposed strategic route at the London end.

My name is Jeffrey Travers I am an architect and have extensive experience of design and contract administration of rail projects. I was detuty to the director of the newly privatised British Rail Architects Department (NDDA) the designers of Ashford Internation Station for HS1. I took over from Alastair Lansley OBE when he became project architect for St Pancras International Station. I was also architect on Waterloo Jubilee Line Station. I was also project architect for Croydon Tramlink though the architectural work was limited to tram stops and a large depot.

My evidence is as follows:

At the HS2 Euston roadshow I queried why Old Oak Station was not proposed as the main London terminus for HS2 in view of the space constraints of Euston (as well as the tunnelling difficulties and disruption to existing homes and services in getting the line through to Euston). I was told by HS2 senior staff that there was insufficient space at Old Oak Common for a terminal. I checked the consultation documentation and found that although there appeared to be plenty of space, most of this space was earmarked for a 17 track depot for Crossrail adjacent to the proposed HS2 station. I returned to the roadshow the next day and asked senior engineers from Arup why the proposed Crossrail Depot was located at Old Oak Station. They told me that they had argued with Crossrail that the depot should be relocated so the HS2 Old Oak Station could be the terminus but Crossrail insisted on going ahead with the design tender for the Old Oak Depot because otherwise they would not meet their contract obligations. Arup engineers said that the Old Oak site was potentially the best connected site in the country for such a terminus and they were very disappointed that they were forced to expand Euston with all its difficulties.

They said the Crossrail depot would only last a few years once the commercial value of the depot site was realised

We all agreed that this is no way to make strategic decisions.

May 2011

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Prepared 8 November 2011