Local politicians cheering the cancellation of HS2 do not see the bigger picture - Yorkshire Post Letters
HS2 would have brought economic benefits to Manchester, Leeds and the whole of the North by attracting jobs and investment. It was never about speed but building a new railway to modern standards in order to increase capacity for passenger and freight on rail.
Without HS2 the North is dependent on rail infrastructure which is close to capacity and will soon be 200 years old. London to Wakefield has a similar journey time as London to Paris via HS1.
Living in the North I am saddened that local politicians do not seem to see the big picture.
By failing to agree on what is best for the North, they allow Central Government to avoid investing to improve services in the North.
It appears to be different in the South, London now has its £19bn Elizabeth Line bringing benefits to swathes of London and the South East, but the Prime Minister clearly feels confident in cancelling massive investment in The North.
I suggest Councillors are deluded if they believe money “saved” from HS2 will be invested in The North.
Firstly there is no saving, HS2 was going to be built from money yet to be borrowed and paid back mainly from fares.
If Ossett needs a station and the increased travel can pay for it, it doesn’t need the cancellation of HS2 to pay for it.
Tragically it was the sections between Birmingham and Manchester/Leeds that made HS2 worthwhile.
Now these sections have been cancelled there will be insufficient fare revenue to repay the borrowing on building from London to Birmingham.
The current plan for HS2 will therefore cost more in the long term and deliver a fraction of the benefits.