High speed rail will be a non-starter on our small island

From: D Wood, Howden.

Patrick McLoughlin seems to think that the Conservatives won the election because people want HS2 (The Yorkshire Post, June 2) he is totally wrong. They won the election only becuase the electorate did not want a Labour Government run by the obnoxious Nicola Sturgeon.

The distance from Birmingham to London is a mere 113 miles, so why do we need trains doing 250mph over such short distances? HS2 is just a huge vanity program which if we look deep enough is to be built on the orders of our politicians’ masters in Brussels.

The current estimated cost is £52 billion; this of course will be nowhere near the actual cost. As with all such Government projects the cost will just keep spiralling out of control.

Examples of past vanity projects costing way over estimate or budget include the Scottish Parliament building (estimate £40 million, actual cost £400 million), Wembley Stadium (estimated cost £400 million actual cost £720 million) andd the London Olympics (estimated cost between £2bn and £3bn, actual cost £9.2bn).

So with a starting cost of £52bn the actual cost is likely to be a phenomenal figure, for something which is going to do nothing for the country.

On a 100-mile journey, the train will no sooner reach 250mph than it will have to start slowing down again, and if there are three or four stops along the way it will probably never reach that speed anyway.

The distances involved in Britain are just too small to justify building such a line, the time saved thus being minimal. It is just a total waste of money.

The current system could be upgraded for a fraction of the cost.

This could be done by re-instating all the four line tracks which were removed in the name of economy, and by increasing train lengths to 15 or 20 coaches as was the case in the days of steam when trains still managed to do 100mph. And more recently the Deltic diesel locomotives used to haul 15 coaches on the East Coast main line at 100mph.

From: Terry Palmer, Barnsley.

The Electoral Society tells us that the 2015 General Election outcome was the most disproportionate in history. The Conservatives received only 36 per cent of the votes cast yet got 51 per cent of the 650 seats available. Ukip got 12 per cent of the votes cast yet only got one MP or 0.2 per cent of the 650 seats. Under proportional representation Ukip would have got 80 seats and the Greens 20 seats. Is it now time to scrap this divisive and archaic system?