TRANSPORT Secretary Grant Shapps professes determination to link up towns and cities, but says “we have only one pot of money” (The Yorkshire Post, December 14).
The economic truth, however, is we need unprecedented investment to build back better – for future well-being, and against climate catastrophe.
Shapps is right that it is about towns as well as cities.
So if Northern Powerhouse Rail happens, it must go into a new Bradford through station linked with the Calder Valley Line, as proposed in West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s submission to the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) earlier this year.
That would end the present reversal of Calder Valley trains at Bradford Interchange, speeding up services between Leeds, Calderdale and Lancashire.
Meanwhile, it is even more important to modernise and decarbonise our classic railway, serving the whole community. Overhead wires are the most efficient way of delivering energy for rail traction.
And electric trains are cheaper to buy, cheaper to operate, as well as cleaner, faster and more reliable than fuel-burning alternatives.
It has been shown that the costs of rail electrification can be cut by 30 to 50 per cent with a rolling programme.
In the long run, electrifying our railways will pay for itself.
From: Steve Wilson, Idle, Bradford.
I GET the feeling that I am going to be reading yet more reports and meaningless consultations re our appalling rail network, accompanied by quotes from quangos and politicians until I end up in my wooden box (The Yorkshire Post, December 16).
It all appears a lot of hot air and inaction; nothing seems to actually have any momentum and the North clearly lacks any weight in Westminster. It is impossible not to wonder as to the real purpose of several of these groups.
From: ME Wright, Harrogate.
THE latest rail report failure comes as no surprise and in stark contrast to the “blank cheque” approach to Crossrail. Your reference to 40 years of Pacers follows the predicted 40 years which it might take Leeds City Council to re-lay less than 10 miles of tram track. Two hundred years ago, it took 40 years to lay 127 miles of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. A link?
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