YP Letters: Reinstate the old capacity of our railways before going down HS2 route

The debate continues about the viability - or otherwise - of HS2.
The debate continues about the viability - or otherwise - of HS2.
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From: Paul Bates, Bowden Wood Crescent, Sheffield.

DEREK Hutchinson (The Yorkshire Post, February 5) argues that HS2 is needed to increase the capacity of our railway system. That increased capacity is required is beyond argument, not so how this can be achieved! In the latter decades of the last century, British Rail reduced the capacity of many inter-city routes by halving the number of tracks. For instance Huddersfield to Stalybridge was reduced from four to two as was Leicester to Bedford on the Midland Mainline.

The former Great Western mainline from Paddington to Birmingham was, in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, reduced to one. Reversal of these reductions and reinstatement to modern mainline standards would eliminate the need to build new routes, together with the disruption to communities that they would cause.

During the same period train lengths were shortened – and so were platforms at some commuter stations. If these platform lengths were reinstated, they would accommodate longer trains and help to alleviate overcrowding.

Some major engineering works would be required. Work to alleviate the notorious curve at Market Harborough, on the Midland Mainline, is currently being undertaken, involving straightening the tracks, resiting the platforms and the station car park. Work to remove other bottlenecks would be required to improve line speeds, but surely these are preferable to an entirely new railway?

From: John Williams, Dronfield.

I HAVE the misfortune to have to use Northern each day between Dronfield and Nottingham. I say misfortune as when the trains do arrive, they are regularly late, often of the Pacer variety and are always missing a carriage.

The other day, my train, the 7.11 from Dronfield to Nottingham, was affected by the points failure at Chesterfield. This is outside of Northern’s control and is not something which can be avoided. However, entirely within Northern’s control is the information which is relayed to its customers – both on the train and through social media.

Honesty and integrity should be a requirement of those in receipt of public monies. This has fallen far short of what one would reasonably expect from Northern. Delay repay provides some financial recompense but it does not remove the stresses of these journeys, nor allow missed meetings to be attended.

From: Jonathan Moorhouse, Low Poppleton Lane, York.

I HAVE just visited the National Railway Museum. On site they have a miniature railway which has about 25 seats and travels up to about 10mph! The NRM also has a road train running into the city with about 60 seats and runs up to 25mph. Both of these have a guard on board, leaving the driver to concentrate on operating his vehicle!

Why then does Northern think it can operate trains capable of 100mph with hundreds of passengers without a guard? Can the Transport Minister bang a few heads together and sort this issue out once and for all? And I mean all!

From: John Bibby, Heworth, York.

BUSES can only give a good service if there are fewer cars on the road (Carmel Harrison, The Yorkshire Post, February 6).

I suggest an incentive of £6,000 per year not to own a car. Everyone who does not own a car will get £6,000 per year. This can be paid for by doubling fuel duty.

This will reduce car use massively and encourage greater bus use, and more routes where none exist at present.

This idea has come out of discussions at York Bus Forum.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

GIVEN the absence of adequate and properly integrated public transport, isn’t the prospect of an ‘Oyster Card for the North’ (The Yorkshire Post, February 5) yet another duplicitous red herring?

From: Thomas Reed, Harrogate.

THANK you for reminding rail users that Chris ‘Don’t Blame Me’ Grayling has Macavity-like tendencies. It cheered a lot of people up while we waited for late-running trains (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, February 5). I hope you will give similar treatment to Andrew Jones, the Rail Minister, who is little better.

From: Mike Gillian, South Elmsall.

JEAN Marc Puissesseau, director of the port of Calais, has accused Chris Grayling of disrespectful behaviour and as a result says he is no longer welcome in Calais.

Interesting. So it’s not only we in Yorkshire who can’t stand him.

Statue not a good image

From: Nigel Boddy, Fife Road, Darlington.

I AM very disappointed to learn that the people of Grantham are to have the Douglas Jennings statue of Margaret Thatcher placed in their town. For artistic reasons Grantham deserves better than this.

The statue unfortunately doesn’t look anything like Mrs Thatcher.

My father was a Labour supporter. He never voted Conservative in his life. He met Mrs Thatcher one day on a train when she was Secretary of State for Education. He was completely charmed by her.

If Grantham is to have a statue of Mrs Thatcher, let it be one that shows her just as she was when she first became leader of the Conservative Party.

Irritating ads – on the BBC

From: Jim Priestley, Lindley Moor Road, Ainley Top, Huddersfield.

AM I alone in being fed up with adverts between programmes on BBC TV? We get the same things over and over again. Red Nose day is the latest which will be on numerous times a day.