A report into the future of the high-speed HS2 rail link has endorsed calls from Chancellor George Osborne for a major redevelopment of Euston station, the project’s London terminal.
If built, the £50bn HS2 will link London with the West Midlands, Manchester and Leeds.
Supporters of the project say it would cut travelling times and stimulate the economy along the route, creating new jobs and encouraging regeneration.
However the scheme is opposed by many, including the London Assembly, on environmental grounds while other opponents suggest the money needed to build the link could be better spent on other projects.
Last month the chancellor said HS2 could provide the catalyst for a wide-ranging redevelopment of Euston, saying there was “a really big opportunity for jobs and for housing in the area.”
A report authored by Sir David Higgins has endorsed Mr Osborne’s comments, calling for a “more comprehensive development” of the station than originally envisaged, allowing the station to “rank alongside St Pancras and Kings Cross” as one of the great gateways into the capital.
Sir David was appointed as HS2 Chairman in January and has been reviewing the project.
His report questions plans to connect the new north-south link to the Channel Tunnel high-speed rail link at St Pancras, calling the proposed link “sub-optimal” and suggesting it be “reconsidered”.
Sir David also promised not to cut back on measures aimed at mitigating any noise or environmental disruption.
He said: “We need to be clear about the impact of the project, as well as its benefits, and address the consequences of that impact, as we are.”