Northern Poorhouse; why Tory voters say enough is enough over rail betrayal – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Ian Gill, Coneythorpe, Knaresborough.

LAST week’s announcement that the HS2 rail link is cancelled is of no surprise, I am sure, to those of us residing in the ‘Northern Poorhouse’.

What is worse is that the proposed high-speed link connecting Liverpool to Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and then onto Newcastle, has also been scrapped.

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Perhaps, it would be a good idea if some of our local MPs left their chauffeur-driven cars behind, and took the York/Leeds train. They would find a totally outdated single-track line, with odd passing places, on which are second/third hand carriages, kindly donated by some Southern rail company, to which we as passengers are meant to be most grateful. At least, unlike third class passengers more than a century ago, we do have a roof over us, if not much else.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the Network Rail hub at Gascoigne Wood, near Selby, North Yorkshire, to coincide with the announcement of the Integrated Rail Plan.

It would appear that Boris Johnson and his chums, with the support of Conservative MPs, are determined to grind the North of England and its inhabitants into an area of abject poverty, to take all the taxes we pay and spend them mainly on London and the South East. As a Conservative voter for 50 years, I have to say enough is enough.

From: Peter Fellows, Randall Place, Bradford.

DESPITE Bradford being the fourth most populous district in the UK, and having the youngest age profile of any city or town in England, the Government has reneged on its investment in worthwhile rail or road infrastructure improvements here.

It leaves the city the worst connected of all the major settlements, with almost no inward investment in jobs, high levels of youth unemployment with all that this entails, and such low property values that owners are unprepared to spend on anything but basic maintenance.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the Network Rail hub at Gascoigne Wood, near Selby, North Yorkshire, to coincide with the announcement of the Integrated Rail Plan.

There is therefore no possibility of any meaningful movement towards the level of spending needed for the city to achieve its contribution to the UK’s low carbon future.

After all, why spend on your property when there is no realistic chance of a worthwhile return on the investment and you’re unlikely either to have the capital needed or the means of obtaining it?

Anyway, as we’re 150 metres up in the Pennines, rising sea levels are a problem for London and others in the lowlands, not for us, and warmer winters will be welcome here.

From: James Bovington, Church Grove, Horsforth, Leeds.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the Network Rail hub at Gascoigne Wood, near Selby, North Yorkshire, to coincide with the announcement of the Integrated Rail Plan.

GREAT news that HS2 as proposed isn’t coming to Leeds. Northern leaders should use the opportunity to win greater investment in our suburban rail networks which will bring environmental benefits and provide daily enhanced social, cultural, economic and employment opportunities for all.

In Bradford local leaders seem unaware that parliamentary powers were granted a century ago to link its two rail termini by tunnel. This should be pursued as should a new direct line to Huddersfield allowing Skipton to Manchester via Bradford.

There should be at least two central underground stations in Bradford with the poorly sited markets site abandoned. Prioritise reopening the Skipton to Colne line to create a renewed regional passenger and freight.

Campaigners have toiled for decades to rebuild 11 miles of track at a tiny cost of £100m, so hopefully happy faces soon just as in Okehampton recently as passenger services returned to the Dartmoor line.

Full electrification of the Midland Mainline is to begin imminently but Yorkshire requires a firm commitment to electrify the whole of the regional network including, for example, Leeds to York via Horsforth and Harrogate and then Skipton to Lancaster.

HS2 included a new line through the lower Aire Valley and this should be constructed and extended to Church Fenton to allow the Leeds to Garforth line to be municipal metro and re-opened to Wetherby.

It’s disappointing that now freed from the shackles of HS2 Sir Keir Starmer’s knee-jerk reaction is to defend the defunct. Surprised? Not really – not one metre of Yorkshire’s railways were electrified by Labour.

From: Dave Ellis, Magdalen Lane, Hedon.

IT is no surprise that Boris Johnson has done another ‘ hand brake turn’ with the eastern leg of HS2 to Leeds being abandoned.

On numerous occasions he has huffed and puffed at press conferences (like a steam locomotive!) and promised the North would not be left out in the long-awaited Intergrated Rail Plan.

He states that the benefits of rail travel will be met sooner, but not if you live or work in Bradford or Hull when rail travellers will still have to breathe in diesel fumes from older railway carriages, compared to London and the South East.

We in Yorkshire pay the same amount of taxes as in other parts of Britain, but we are being denied a decent level of service delivery on our local railways.

Our Prime Minister needs to rethink the implications to those who live in Yorkshire with his Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps MP, and Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy, and come up with the funds and don’t short change us again.

From: Jarvis Browning, Fadmoor, York.

IF the railways were still nationalised, we would not have needed HS2, as the existing layout could have been improved for faster speeds by much needed improvements. Too much of it is divided into private sectors. Why the Government don’t want to improve the East Coast Main Line is mysterious.

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