Spend more on rail and less on roads (and HS2) – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Nina Smith, Chair, Railfuture Yorkshire Branch, Hebden Bridge.

THE Government has made the very welcome announcement of a carbon reduction target increased to 68 per cent by 2030.

On the same day, news has emerged of a £1bn cut in Network Rail’s budget, yet no cut yet in the £27bn roads budget (The Yorkshire Post, December 5).

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Post pandemic, we need to spend more on the railways, not less, and we will need to significantly reduce those car journeys that could easily be made by public transport.

What is the future of the region's rail services?

That will require carrots and sticks. The carrots need to include improved train and bus services, affordable fares, new and expanded tram systems, and some reopened railway lines and stations.

The sticks being selective road pricing and workplace parking levies, and restoring the increases in Vehicle Excise Duty that should have taken place over the last 10 years.

We also need a rapid transfer of more freight and parcels from road and air to rail, and that will require investment in infrastructure.

Finally, a major electrification programme is vital and urgent.

Network Rail has suffered a £1bn funding cut but what will be the consequences for Yorkshire?

From: Peter Lewis, Netherthong, Holmfirth.

FURTHER to your excellent articles, review and editorial that Bradford could miss out on the new Northern Powerhouse Rail line, what I can’t seem to find anywhere (TfN website etc) is the detailed map of the actual alternative £17.2bn new route that is proposed, envisaged and apparently being championed. Only a convenient cartoon ever seems to shown and publicised.

Sweeping swathes of illusory/ implausible “straight-ish” imaginary lines across the Pennine hills and mountains, when in reality anyone knows that’d be impossible (other than in Switzerland) due to physical geography and terrain.

Britain’s great rail network never was built following parabolic curvilinear highlighter pen sweeps across a blank canvas. Let alone properly, accurately, costed in advance. Brunel and all the great railway engineers would be appalled.

From: David Mayston, Common Road, Dunnington, York.

MUCH needed additional funding for the NHS and social care, greater investment in broadband to better serve Yorkshire’s villages and provincial towns, improved East-West rail links between Hull and Liverpool, and less damage to ancient woodlands, these are just a few of the benefits which saving £100bn on HS2 could bring.

With more scope for working from home and less need to physically travel after coronavirus, a greener, happier future is possible without the excessive financial and environmental costs of HS2. The whole project is now of dubious value.

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