Long journey time shows folly of opposing faster HS2 rail

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From: David Reed, Houses Hill, Huddersfield.

IAIN Morris says the proposed routing for HS2 is not direct and we already have the Cross Country train service from Yorkshire to Birmingham (Yorkshire Post, November 16).

Indeed we have, and the appalling fact is that it takes almost two hours to get from Birmingham to Leeds and vice versa.

As a result, most people making this journey use the overcrowded motorways which are faster. HS2 will reduce this journey to an hour, entirely appropriate for the 21st century.

The huge advantage of the proposed “Y” network is that it gives drastically improved connectivity not only with London but also with Birmingham and Heathrow. Journey times to our great Northern cities from London will be reduced by an hour, and by two hours from Heathrow.

This stimulates a powerful incentive for inward investment in our region, KPMG estimates benefit to the economy of £15bn a year, the major part in the North.

On the same date of publication, Mrs Linda Precious complains of noise and destruction of the countryside. We have to take action to deal with the doubling of demand on our railways, and if a new line is not built, it will have to be a new motorway, which will take vastly more land and cause much more noise.

The quietest and least damaging option is a new North-South railway line. I have listened to noise simulations at a recent HS2 consultation exercise at a Leeds hotel. It is truly astonishing how little noise is generated, as the people who live near HS1 in Kent, having bitterly opposed it, readily testify now it is operating.

It is not a “loud whoosh”, more like gentle rumble for ten seconds with no noise at all for 90 per cent of the time, unlike a motorway, where the noise is much louder and constant.

From: David H Rhodes, Keble Park North, Bishopthorpe, York.

THE wonderful suggestion for building the HS2 track underground would, by careful routing through West Yorkshire, provide for the extraction of copious amounts of coal. This in turn would help offset the gargantuan overall cost and offer cheaper heating.

From: Alex Dale, Park Grange Road, Sheffield.

I ATTENDED Network Rail’s recent public consultation on plans for the Hope Valley line between Sheffield and Manchester, including improvements in Dore and an extra track through Dore and Totley Station.

The proposed improvements in our area (a new track at Grindleford is also in the pipeline) are part of the Northern Hub scheme. If realised, the scheme will create extra capacity and improve frequency and reliability, by allowing passenger trains to overtake slow-moving freight trains. The scheme, as a whole, will allow up to 700 more trains to run a day, add space for up to 44 million extra passengers a year, create up to 30,000 jobs and provide an estimated £4bn worth of wider economic benefits to the region.

The Northern Hub scheme has come about as a result of a £500m investment by the Conservative-led Government and it is testament to their determination to ensure that the economic recovery is felt in the north as well as the south.

I encourage local residents, not just in Dore and Totley, but from across the south west of Sheffield, to have their say on these proposals before the consultation closes early next month.