Develop East Coast Main Line and ports over HS2 – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Ron Firth, Campsall.

Should improvements to the East Coast Main Line and rail freight take precedence over HS2?

I READ your piece on the HS2 stalemate. Since plans for HS2 were put forward, the existing East Coast Main Line has benefited significantly from the following:

* the introduction of new, faster trains, reducing the journey times to around two hours with ample opportunity for business to be conducted on board through computer links.

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*improved signalling which allows for trains to travel more closely together, and thus increase the number of trains on the route to help further on lowering the journey times and increase capacity.

Should improvements to the East Coast Main Line and rail freight take precedence over HS2?

The restrictions of the Covid pandemic, and improved broadband speeds, have demonstrated that it is not essential for all office workers from the North to travel to London or the South East 
every day of the week, particularly as some Government offices have been relocated to the North.

A better plan would be to electrify the line from Sheffield to St Pancras, further boosting capacity and a close tie-up to Europe via Eurostar from St Pancras.

Of far more importance on transport is to speed up imports and exports by developing, as a maritime nation, the many excellent ports that we have around the UK.

HS2 continues to prompt much debate and discussion.

The idea of levelling up the North was aimed at taking the pressure off London and the South East not just by ‘shovelling’ the congestion and benefits into Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester, but by targeting imports and exports to the most appropriate ports and airports. As the Thames Gateway has shown, the vast trade via container ships can be redistributed by road and rail, or even canals, to shorten onward journeys to intended destinations. What is required are better cross country rail links as well as the spur from the ECML south of Doncaster to Doncaster Airport.

This spur has been agreed as a vital project to further enhance the airport’s position as the fastest growing regional airport with its excellent access from the motorway and rail connections to the ECML, and the nearby Rail I port. This spur would probably attract increasing numbers of travellers. Like many others, I look forward to ‘One Yorkshire’ with a non-party politician at the head.

From: Henry Cobden, Ilkley.

WHY is so much attention being given to guaranteeing HS2 is built from Birmingham to Leeds when better rail links across the North are the priority for this region? I just don’t get it.

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