How HS2 will transform rail freight – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: David Reed, St Paul’s Lock, Mirfield.

HS2 would allow more rail freight, argues letter writer David Reed.

CHRIS Ball of the Green Party shows scant understanding of the realities of rail operation in his claim that HS2 is not needed, and improvement in freight capacity is required instead (The Yorkshire Post, July 24).

Whereas switching goods from road to rail is an excellent ambition, the reality is that with the huge growth in rail travel, North-South main lines are full to capacity and Network Rail has to turn down demands from freight operators.

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A prime justification for HS2 is that it releases a huge increase in capacity on the existing network which will be available for an increase in rail freight, and also much-needed new commuter and regional passenger services to reduce overcrowding, in particular in the North.

Boris Johnson and the Cabinet have given their backing to HS2.

Alternative ways of providing such a capacity increase on the existing network have been evaluated in detail and were all found to be immensely disruptive, more expensive and provided an inadequate capacity increase.

A brand-new line built to 21st century standards will easily pay for itself by stimulating growth in the Northern economy, just as the high-speed lines in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium, China, and Japan have already demonstrated in their respective economies.

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James Mitchinson