Hold HS2 referendum to decide high-speed rail’s fate – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Dave Crocuher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster.

NOW is the time to scrap the HS2 project – £108bn is the latest prediction, nearly double the first estimate and predicted to rise further (The Yorkshire Post, January 6).

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When it is finished, only the rich will be able to afford the fares. The antiquated rail system we have at the present time has some fares that are more expensive than flying, and we would most likely get the same excuses for delays as we get today (leaves on lines, rails buckling through hot weather, flood, landslide, etc).

Should HS2 - construction is already underway in London - be scrapped?

All the money being spent on this so-called ‘white elephant’ could make a vast difference to other projects that are far more urgent than a rich man’s rail service – and many people would not have their houses stolen from them by the compulsory purchase scheme.

The money could be used for the NHS, policing, schools, flood defences, the present rail system and many other worthwhile causes.

I’m sure it will be of benefit to far more people than the way over priced HS2.

Thjere are calls for rail operator Northern to be stripped of its franchise.

If there were a referendum on HS2 then you would see a landslide result – it would be “Scrap it” because the people don’t need it.

From: Joe Rukin, Campaign Manager, Stop HS2.

NEW reports leave HS2 so irrevocably damaged that there can surely be no choice left but to cancel it.

Lord Berkeley has demonstrated that everything we have been saying is true:

The costs have been deliberately understated meaning Parliament was misled;

The benefits were invented to try and con the public this was about more than satisfying the vested commercial interests who have been running their own gravy train;

The environmental damage has been deliberately understated to greenwash the whole thing;

People have been having their homes, land and businesses snatched for fractions of their value to cover-up the incompetence of HS2 cost estimates;

Not only is HS2 years behind schedule, but delivering the promised number of trains at the specified speeds, the entire supposed purpose of HS2, isn’t actually possible.”

This report shows HS2 is beyond scandal, this report shows HS2 is nothing more a decade long, calculated exercise to ignore the evidence, dismiss all criticism, bury the truth and defraud the taxpayer.

HS2 must be cancelled immediately.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

YET another rise in railway fares, accompanied by yet more reports of woefully inadequate services (The Yorkshire Post, January 3).

Robert Nisbet, director of the obtusely named ‘Rail Delivery Group’, urges passengers to “bear with us”.

Mr Nisbet; we have been bearing with you, your predecessors and your political mates and colluders for decades. We have had little choice, other than to choke the roads even further.

The front-page article was juxtaposed with a column reading “Pull the other one – joke shop marks 90 years”. Apart from the period, was this intentional?

From: Nina Smith, Chair, Railfuture Yorkshire branch.

I AM glad Tom Richmond (The Yorkshire Post, January 4) has highlighted the chronic and unacceptable overcrowding problems on Cross Country Trains. The use of four carriage Voyager trains on these long distance services is completely unacceptable.

LNER and Great Western Railway have recently handed back to leasing companies many excellent, if older, seven to nine carriage High Speed Train sets.The Transport Secretary should require Cross Country Trains to lease some of these, and modify their doors and lavatories to meet access and hygiene requirements.

This should be funded by a reduction in the premium required to pay to the Government to operate these services.

From: Richard Marsh, Conniscliffe Road, Darlington.

IN response to the letter ‘This firm should not be allowed to run a railway’ (The Yorkshire Post, December 13).

The opinion given by Keith Sturdy in the title of this letter is based on the question posed by himself in the text “If my memory serves me right didn’t they (First Group) have to also give up the East Coast franchise a few years ago?”.

The answer to that question is no they didn’t. The remaining points raised in the letter are therefore nonsensical.

From: Malcolm Parkinson, Thornhill, Dewsbury.

DEWSBURY station 9.57am: “We are sorry to announce that the 09.57 train to Manchester Airport via Manchester Victoria is delayed by approximately six minutes. This is due to a shortage of train crew. The train is currently between Batley and Dewsbury.”

Two minutes later: “We are sorry etc… eight minutes…the train is currently between Cottingley and Morley.”

The problem with TransPennine Express seems to be that either the trains are going backwards or they are pointing the wrong way.

From: Jonathan Dowson, Middleham.

THE anecdote from Richard Morton (The Yorkshire Post, January 4) about the region’s rail services should be required reading for the Transport Secretary.

It expressed the frustration that passengers suffer on most days – and the level of inconvenience that is now the norm for so many people because of the rail industry’s incompetence at the highest levels of management.

It’s also heartening that your newspaper appears unwilling to give up the fight until services do improve. Thank you.