YP Letters: Pete Waterman is off track over benefits of HS2

From: Christine Daker, Abelton Grove, Haxby, York.

Will HS2 benefit Yorkshire - or not?

I FEEL compelled to put pen to paper in response to the article printed in your newspaper written by rail enthusiast and record producer Pete Waterman (The Yorkshire Post, February 2).

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Mr Waterman waxes lyrical about the benefits that HS2 will bring to the people of Doncaster, all of which would be wonderful but for one significant point... there are no plans for HS2 to stop in Doncaster.

For anyone to be able to access HS2 they would have to travel to Sheffield to use the one HS2 train per hour to London.

This, in itself, will take around 85/86 minutes and I fail to see why anyone would choose to do this when they already have up to six trains per hour actually from Doncaster itself to London.

During the construction of HS2 people of Doncaster and surrounding area will, however, suffer home and business demolitions, probably losing money in the process, to say nothing of the emotional upheaval to themselves and their families. There will be traffic chaos and the environmental destruction to wildlife, habitat and woodlands will be unprecedented as this unwanted and unnecessary rail line carves its way through our beautiful countryside. Little wonder Mr Waterman found that mentioning HS2 only promoted a “lukewarm reaction” from the people of Doncaster.

From: Christine Hill, Parkway, Crofton, Wakefield.

BEFORE Pete Waterman or his associates relocate to Doncaster, please inform him that HS2 does not intend to stop at Doncaster.

In his haste to promote HS2 he fails to check his facts. Rather than halving the travel time from London to Doncaster, as he states, HS2 will have a negative impact on the present rail service in Doncaster.

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

I NOTE reports in the national media that Ministers are actively considering scrapping HS2 (The Yorkshire Post, February 12).

This is just one of David Cameron’s follies so why not scrap another such folly? I mean the one about ring-fencing foreign aid. We are struggling to maintain the NHS, police service and our prisons so would it not be better to spend money here before we even consider helping other wasteful nations?

I had always thought the Conservatives to be the ‘‘sensible’’ party but now am beginning to have serious doubts about that view.

From: Terry Watson, Adel.

WHEN will Theresa May realise what a disgraceful waste of public money HS2 is? The cost has now been estimated by some to top £100bn when finally completed. We do not need HS2 and we cannot afford it, Britain isn’t big enough anyway. Our present pathetic rail system needs billions spending on it.

We need longer platforms and longer trains so that passengers paying the highest fares in Europe can have seats. There seems to be no control of spending on the project with a staff of 1,346, with 46 on more than the £150,000 salary of the Prime Minister, and 15 on £250,000. Time to scrap it, Mrs May.

Margaret Thatcher used to say: “If we can’t afford it , we can’t have it.” I agree.

From: Thomas Reed, Harrogate.

IF HS2 is so beneficial to the North, let building work start here – and not in London. And then we will see whether the Government is serious about delivering high-speed rail for the whole country.

From: Sam Cook, Ilkley.

SO Channel 4’s Despatches programme recognises that we have overcrowded trains here. Where have they been – or are they only interested in the 
North because they’re moving to Leeds?

Firms hit by bank closures

From: Mike Cherry, Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses.

THE rapid pace of bank branch and cashpoint closures is hurting small businesses all over the UK (The Yorkshire Post, February 12).

Millions of small firms have customers who want to pay using notes and coins. The vast majority of shoppers either use cash frequently or want to see access to it maintained.

Bank branches and cashpoints create a natural draw for high streets and town centres. They give shoppers a reason to visit.

When bank branches and cashpoints are lost, local growth often takes a hit.

Going cashless should represent a genuine choice for small business owners. It shouldn’t be a move forced by lack of access to deposit and withdrawal facilities.

With our cash infrastructure increasingly under attack, it’s time for a regulator to be given explicit responsibility for protecting access to notes and coins.

Otherwise we risk drifting into a cashless environment that we’re simply not ready for yet.

From: John Senior, Skelmanthorpe.

RECENTLY, you reported that Royal Mail’s profits were under pressure. They could easily increase their profits if they dropped some of their remoter rounds in the way that banks close so-called unprofitable branches.

They are not allowed to and must deliver to remote farms for the same price as to inner city addresses.

In like manner, should it not be possible to grant banking licences only to those banks who are willing to maintain a single branch in settlements above a certain size and in groups of settlements above a certain size within a five-mile radius say?

The number of such ‘unprofitable’ branches a particular bank had to maintain would be in proportion to the size of its business in the UK.

This would go some way to repay the people who have suffered from the banks’ profligate behaviour in the first decade of this century.