Full speed ahead for a rail revolution

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Have your say

From: Nina Smith, Chair, Railfuture Yorkshire Branch, Bank Terrace, Hebden Bridge.

It is excellent news that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor are giving their backing to HS3. Developing this service must be treated as a priority – it cannot wait until the late 2020s (The Yorkshire Post, October 27).

Clearly the route needs to be one that enables the journey time between Manchester and both Leeds and Sheffield to be around half an hour. It does not need to be super-fast – that just means excessive construction costs, higher running costs and a long lead time: 125 mph running would be sufficient to transform the journey time.

My preference is for the high speed route to have the abandoned Woodhead route at its core. The tunnels are already there and a delta junction at the eastern end would enable fast routes not only from Manchester to Leeds and Sheffield but also between Leeds and Sheffield.

While Manchester-Leeds would be the core section, at least some of these expresses could go onwards to Hull, York, Middlesbrough and Newcastle, and on the western side to Liverpool.

From: James Bovington, Church Grove, Horsforth.

IF Leeds Council has any understanding at all of the potential for HS2 to bring about a local rail revolution, then our local councillors will be examining how a twin tunnel central area Crossrail scheme centred on a revamped Leeds Station with interchange at City Square underground can be brought about.

Setting the record straight

From: Dr Denis MacShane, Ex-Rotherham MP, London.

YOU published a headline which said I had “failed to act on Rotherham grooming 11 years ago” (The Yorkshire Post, October 24).

Can I make clear that the first time I learnt about the awful crimes in Rotherham was when newspapers published reports following court cases? When that happened in 2012, I was the only MP in the region to call for an inquiry. I wish I had known and perhaps I and other politicians in South Yorkshire should have known but the fact is that no-one – constituents, local victims, the police or social workers – came with specific complaints or allegations.

Your report refers to a document sent by a Leeds-based organisation which worked with abused children in 2009. I have checked with the organisation and the person who wrote the document has long since left. I was one of a number of people who were included in a CC list. I am certain that I never saw this letter and there is no addressee on it. My long-standing parliamentary assistant, a Rotherham grandmother who cares deeply about children, also confirms that she has no memory of ever seeing this letter and the Leeds organisation which does good work also confirms that they cannot be sure it was indeed sent to me.

I hope this sets the record straight.

No sign of police on beat

From: Jeremy John Whittington, Leeds.

I REPLY to the two letters published under the heading “No going back to ‘Dixon of Dock Green’ era of policing” (The Yorkshire Post, October 25).

If modern policing has one fault, it is the lack of police on the beat. I live in a sheltered person’s flat. I never see any kind of police in my area. Only last Wednesday, I told a cashier in the Co-operative store on Street Lane, Roundhay, with a PCSO officer standing at the pay desk “You are so lucky, where I live it is a no police area”. The PCSO did not like what I said, but until I see a police officer or a PCSO walk on the shopping parade on Dibb Lane I will stand by my remark.

Where are the police on the ground? It is so sad.

Ban jihadists from return

From: James Robson, West End, Kirbymoorside.

AS another group of hateful and hate-filled young British Muslims leaves the country that has nurtured and educated them to fight with its sworn enemies, I feel we are entitled to ask what has happened to our comatose Government’s backbone?

Surely the response should be swift and uncompromising – to rescind their passports and ban them from ever returning? Come on David Cameron – defy the EU and Human Rights lobby, ignore the Lib Dems’ craven policy of appeasement and do the right thing. I’m sure the majority of “really” British people would applaud you for it – some might even leave Ukip and vote for you.

Impact of warming

From: Tim Mickleburgh, Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

A REPORT issued by the Met Office earlier this year said that “the UK is likely to see wetter, milder winters... in the long term due to global warning” (The Yorkshire Post, October 27).

Yet according to new research just published in Nature Geoscience, Britain “can expect twice as many severe winters as usual over the coming decades” because of the loss of floating Arctic sea ice.

Which is correct?

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