Rail is driver of ‘Northern Powerhouse’

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From: Anne Robinson, Campaigner, Friends of the Peak District and CPRE South Yorkshire, Stafford Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

A £6bn tunnel under the Pennines (The Yorkshire Post, December 1) sounds exciting – a road engineered to equal the Alpine tunnels and recognition that dualling the A628 through our beautiful and well-loved first National Park, the Peak District, is not on.

However, a tunnel for a new fast road connecting Manchester and Sheffield will do nothing to improve city centre to city centre journeys. Increased road capacity and a shorter all-weather route would encourage drivers to divert off the M62 onto the Woodhead, and more people to use their cars. Inevitably traffic will grind to a halt on urban roads beyond the tunnel – our cities cannot accommodate any more cars.

More effective would be to use the tunnel as part of a new rail route for both freight and passengers, as proposed by the Northern Powerhouse of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield city leaders in “One North: A proposition for an interconnected North”. This would reduce lorry and car traffic on the M62 and the A628, and provide swift inter-city centre journeys.

From: Les Goodens, Hull.

I AM in total agreement with your correspondent Mr D Hutchinson (The Yorkshire Post, December 2) regarding the use of that awful expression “train station” instead of railway station.

I thought I was a lone voice in the wilderness as I have often sent similar e-mails to Look North in Hull as their reporters also persist in using the term. Respected railway magazines do not use the term neither does the Ordnance Survey on its maps and most signposts always refer correctly to railway stations.

I really do not know where the term has come from because the last time this subject came up for discussion in a railway magazine that I saw it was suggested that the term is not American in origin as it was pointed out that in the USA they are often referred to as depots. But for whatever reason and wherever it originates, the term is most annoying and has no place in proper railway terminology.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

I’M sorry to tell Mr D Hutchinson (The Yorkshire Post, December 2) that the infantile “train station” has been adopted by National Rail on their plastic ticket holders. At Leeds City, a recorded voice urges us not to carry luggage on the escalators, but to use the “elevators”. These are correctly designated ‘lifts’ elsewhere on the station, but for how much longer?

The invisible suits have not yet got the hang of running a reliable and affordable railway network, but their dead cool credentials become ever more faultless when it comes to terminology.

From: Nigel F Boddy, Fife Road, Darlington.

THE recent road improvement announcements are just a rehash of old plans. I am all for the A1 from Newcastle to Scotland being made into all dual carriageway. However isn’t the A68 from Darlington to Edinburgh much shorter? Why is the A1 the main route to Edinburgh on the East Coast?

Housing 
in demand

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

TOM Richmond (The Yorkshire Post, November 29) is right when he says building on green field sites and creating urban sprawl is not the answer to housing problems.

In Driffield, they are going to build a huge number of houses on good arable land to the north of the town centre, while the old cattle market and White’s Sugar Mill stand derelict and are an eyesore to the area. There is also a quite large area to the south of Lockwood Street that is ripe for development. The simple reason is greed and cost.

It is far cheaper to use a green field site than to prepare an old brown field site with the attendant clearing of old buildings and concrete, drains etc. Common sense will never prevail over greed and cost.

From: John Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.

DAVID Cameron’s proposed changes may yield some marginal reduction in net immigration from the rest of the EU (which may in any case fluctuate with economic trends across the continent). Meanwhile the greater and more persistent inflow from outside the EU is set to continue growing.

Mr Cameron wishes to assert the national interest with regard to immigration. But here, as well as recognising factors other than economics, we need to distinguish between economic growth and per capita economic growth. A larger economy benefits those who cream their percentage cut off the top; that is members of the liberal elite as well as substantial owners of property and businesses. For the rest of us, growth derived from population increase is of substantial disadvantage.

If we don’t want more people here, then we need to question the conventional wisdom that we need more jobs and houses.

Given freedom of movement, the shortage of these is our only bulwark. Why then are we allowing employment at wage rates which require public subsidy through benefits? Why are we using public debt, or debt guaranteed by the public, to fund the building of 100 year houses for these workers when for all we know they may drift away within the decade?