Channel Tunnel success shows why HS2 must go ahead - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Roger Backhouse, Upper Poppleton, York.

Reader Roger Backhouse says the success of the Channel Tunnel link justifies HS2 - do you agree?

CRITICISMS of HS2 to the North from ardent Brexiteers like David Davis are rather ironic given the past record of high-speed rail in Britain (The Yorkshire Post, May 16).

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I recently made a rare trip abroad, travelling from London to Brussels in just over two hours via the Channel Tunnel and HS1. That’s four hours on trains from York. For much of the way I travelled at 186mph. For that I must thank Margaret Thatcher who overcame objectors to have the Channel Tunnel built, and also John Prescott for finalising the high-speed link.

My journeys in the UK never go above 125mph; good but not high-speed these days. Isn’t it curious that Britain can have high-speed links to Paris, Brussels and now Amsterdam but when it comes to better links within the UK there is widespread protest? Sometimes Yorkshire folk can be their own worst enemies.

Much as I’d like to see better trans-Pennine rail links and further electrification around Yorkshire if HS2 is cancelled, there is no guarantee the money will be reallocated to other transport projects. That’s not the way the Treasury works. Much money has already been committed to HS2. If cancelled, that will be utterly wasted. The North and North East need better railways but cancelling HS2 is not the answer.