The North needs HS2 and not this half-baked plan – Yorkshire Post letters

The merits of HS2 - and its benfits for the North - continue to be the subject of fierce political debate.
The merits of HS2 - and its benfits for the North - continue to be the subject of fierce political debate.
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From: Henri Murison, Director, Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

NORTHERN business and civic leaders all agree we need HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and more investment in key road and mass transit schemes for city regions.

Henri Murison: Why it is in the North’s best interests to back HS2 and not let Tory leadership contest derail high speed rail

Why should hard-pressed taxpayers in the North be forced to make a choice between them after decades of under-investment here? This half-baked plan is an embarrassment to the TaxPayers’ Alliance because the sums don’t add up (The Yorkshire Post, May 14).

The only properly costed scheme to improve east-west rail links is Northern Powerhouse Rail, which is £39bn, not £18.1bn as they suggest. The transport plan actually written by those of us in the North, with the leader of the local Tory council in David Davis MP’s East Riding constituency on board behind it, has been properly costed, unlike their ill-considered work.

I’d suggest the TaxPayers’ Alliance, and David Davis MP, get real. Northerners are not going to stand for cancelling HS2 in order to pay for a list of schemes decided by a bunch of Westminster bubble types trying to impress Tory leadership candidates. It will cost up to £120bn by 2050 to do everything needed as well as HS2. Those are the real sums.

From: A Oldfield, Secretary, Huddersfield, Penistone and Sheffield Rail Users’ Association, Worrall, Sheffield.

SHOCKING but not surprising, that surely sums up the attainment (sic) of Sheffield Station (platforms 2B/3A) securing eighth position for worst air quality revealed by the Friends of the Earth study. Does it not also confirm that Sheffield’s place as the big city rail pauper remains firmly intact? The solution? Electrification. Is not this situation the inevitable outcome of the absence of such?

Unfortunately the Sheffield track record on electrification ranges from embarrassing to exclusion. The 2017 scrapping of full Midland Main Line electrification saw Corby become the limit of the wire. Now the latest decision is for a further extension northwards to Market Harborough, roughly one third the size of Corby. The populations of Market Harborough and Penistone are comparable but, sadly, the latter lost its electrified link.

Cannot Sheffield use this latest move to make a fresh call for full electrification by engaging with Derby, Leicester and Nottingham, the main centres served by the Midland Main Line? What better remedy is there to replace choking with cheering in Sheffield?

From: Martin J. Phillips, Tinshill Lane, Leeds.

I NOTE that the new Azuma trains are being introduced on the East Coast Main Line to speed up journeys between London and the North-East (The Yorkshire Post, May 15). HS2 now seems to be an even more irrelevant white elephant.

Suppressing the real facts

From: Michael Green, Baghill Green, Tingley, Wakefield.

THE Anglican Bishop of Leeds, in writing to discourage the use of what he characterises as “classic populist language, of left or right” (The Yorkshire Post, May 14), remarks that “the accuracy, factuality, or truth of what is said is irrelevant”.

Much of what is thus said, my Lord Bishop, is indeed accurate, factual and true. Therein lies the problem. Those who do not share those views (including apparently, from his dismissive comments about Nigel Farage, bishops) respond only by challenging the right of others to express them. When people speak dismissively of “populism”, it seems to me that their primary objective is to suppress the expression of the majority view.

Only raptors can thrive

From: John Michael Babbings, Farnley Tyas, Huddersfield.

I HAVE just read the letter from Jarvis Browning (The Yorkshire Post, May 14) and can totally agree with his comments.

For the last few weeks, we have had a nest with six young robins in one of our barns.

We have done all we could to minimise noise, movement etc but lost our battle a few days ago. We saw magpies hanging around the barn. We could not watch this nest 24/7 and, within a few hours, all the chicks had been taken and the nest trashed.

There is no protection for the songbirds, just raptors. Before long, we will have no songbirds around to listen to thanks to all these do-gooders.

Clubs rely on foreign skills

From: Mr RGN Webb, Hipperholme, Halifax.

DAI Woosnam (The Yorkshire Post, May 11) praised Liverpool FC and cited British spirit as key to their successs, suggesting this should model our attitude to Brexit.

Perhaps he should scrutinise the personnel of all four English sides who have reached the finals of the Champions League and Europa League, although no doubt he would prefer his simplistic assertions and naive optimism. Devoid of their European components – employees and skills – the clubs would struggle.

Praise for NHS smiles

From: Ruthven Urquhart, High Hunsley, Cottingham.

HAVING been recently diagnosed with a form of cancer and now currently convalescing (after two operations), I just wish to record my utterly sincere gratitude for the fantastically dedicated medical staff at our local Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham.

Smiling is so very infectious and this constantly exhibited motion by every caring nurse I met caused me to remain so relaxed and confident about my future wellbeing.