March 28: Costly HS2 will benefit just a few

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Have your say

From: Ruthven Urquhart, High Hunsley, Cottingham, East Yorkshire.

POLITICAL common sense has not prevailed yet again. While fiscal/economic problems remain, there seems to be no possibility of a U-turn regarding HS2.

A very small proportion of our population will benefit tangibly from this ridiculously expensive and controversial plan: indeed, the overall lost £50bn will subject us to further major cuts to our vital services such as the ailing NHS, care for the elderly, Armed Forces and the education of our youth etc.

From: Iain Morris, Caroline Street, Saltaire, Bradford.

WE do not see Manchester as a rival in Bradford. We even have a Manchester Road in the city which is something Leeds does not have.

The old Manchester Road was known as the Irish Channel, hence the large Catholic St Joseph’s church located between the city centre and Odsal Top, now all dual carriageway and incorporating a guided bus system.

From: James Bovington, Church Grove, Horsforth, Leeds.

NEVER has the need to 
improve regional transport services been so much in
the news, nor has there been so much apparent agreement 
on the positive role that rail can play.

Hence, I am baffled that any future rail link to Leeds Bradford International Airport will have to wait until after a link road has been constructed.

Furthermore, the complete absence of any plan to reopen even partially the rail line towards Wetherby – favouring instead the construction of a dual carriageway – raises concerns as to the political commitment to quality public transport in Leeds.

Yet we then learn of schemes to spend vast sums of money on pet high-speed projects such as HS3 and its Pennine tunnel. But smaller-scale scheme which would benefit thousands of people, such as linking the two central Bradford stations or the construction of a cross city rail tunnel in Leeds, which would vastly increase rail capacity, are dismissed as too expensive.

Sorry but I just don’t get it.

From: Adam Watson, Selby.

I WATCHED and listened with interest to Lord Hollick, chairman of the House of Lords economic affairs committee, when he suggested that there are better ways to spend £50bn plus on the railway infrastructure than HS2.

He also points out that the congestion on the network would not be relieved by HS2 as most of the congestion is around cities during peak times. The suggestion is that money should be diverted to local and regional infrastructure projects.

The evidence from other countries also points to the suggestion that the capital cities are the main beneficiaries of these high speed rail projects which is in direct conflict to the justification of HS2, ie it re-balances the economy to the North.

Considering this, will you change your position in supporting HS2?

From: Don Alexander,
 Knab Road, Sheffield.

YOUR constant call for devolved power for Yorkshire, with prospects of yet another layer of politicians, is very depressing. Perhaps more so in the Sheffield Region, where we have as many connections with North Notts, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire as with South Yorkshire. Geographically we are nearer Lincoln than York; nearer Chesterfield than Wakefield; nearer the Peak District than the Yorkshire Dales. Industrially, Sheffield and Rotherham have more in common with the Ruhr and Pittsburgh than Leeds or Bradford. Our factories’ trade is worldwide, not just parochial.

The Regional LEP should co-operate with others on transport and pushing for more powers devolving from London, without sharing power themselves. Successful business people should have preference in the LEPs over politicians.

Has fish shop
had its chips?

From: Brian H Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

I WAS interested in Samuel J Moore’s remarks on “the sad demise of the village chippy” (Country Week, March 17). This is surely due to the increase in the price of fish and the advent of alternatives such as Indian and Chinese takeaways: many chippies have also resorted to burgers, sausages and kebabs to survive.

It is indeed sad that the fish and chip shop might be joining the pub and the local post office as a declining British institution but fears of its death might just be exaggerated. Having come to more exotic food relatively late in life I sought to challenge my taste buds by asking the Bangladeshi owner of my local curry house what his favourite dish was.

“Fish and chips”, he said.

More reasons
to go elsewhere

From: Shirley Hughes-Rowlands, Guiseley, Leeds

THE main reason I do not now shop at Morrisons is the lack of choice. I only live five minutes away from a Morrisons store and I had to give up going through staff indifference.

Although I told management on several occasions, they did not seem to think it was an important issue. I am told that customer relations are now improved.