Time for referendum on HS2 and rail improvements – Yorkshire Post Letters

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

Should there be a referendum over Yorkshire rail improvements and HS2?

YOUR correspondent Roger Owen succinctly analyses the rail investment needs of the North and it’s time for a regional referendum in Yorkshire about how best to allocate the cash (The Yorkshire Post, October 9).

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For me the choice is between HS2 and an ‘‘alternative investment package’’ including:

Should there be a referendum over Yorkshire rail improvements and HS2?

Complete electrification of the regional rail network and electrification including the Midland Mainline from Sheffield to Bedford and wires to Scarborough, Middlesbrough, Hull and Grimsby, and Skipton to Lancaster;

Metro tunnels for local and regional trains under the centres of Leeds and Bradford with five underground stations in Leeds and two in Bradford and which could link all major proposed hospitals;

A new direct link Bradford to Huddersfield link and capacity improvements through the Pennines;

A high speed Leeds to Church Fenton line allowing the Garforth line to have Metro frequencies and a spur off East Coast Main Line to Robin Hood Airport;

Should there be a referendum over Yorkshire rail improvements and HS2?

Reopening the lines from Skipton to Colne, Harrogate to Ripon and Cross Gates to Harrogate via Wetherby; a Guiseley to Horsforth link via an underground station at Leeds Bradford Airport.

Or HS2?

The regional investment package concentrates investment where needed here in West Yorkshire centred on Leeds and Bradford.

Local politicians are keen to spend vast sums of money on railways to take us elsewhere rather than pursue the economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits accruing from concentrating the investment here.

Should there be a referendum over Yorkshire rail improvements and HS2?

Is there anywhere else in the world where the likes of Mayor Tracy Brabin and council leaders James Lewis and Susan Hinchcliffe dismiss underground rail for their cities?

This, after all, is the gold standard of transport provision as residents of London, Glasgow, Merseyside and Tyneside will confirm.

From: Michael A Clynch, Huddersfield Road, Ingbirchworth, Penistone.

SOME of your readers may remember Yorkshire Forward, claimed to help direct investment to Yorkshire and based in Leeds.

Like Welcome to Yorkshire, it claimed extravagant job growth and protection as its justification. It grew its workforce, expanded salaries and occupied expensive offices in central Leeds, larger in scale than companies it claimed to attract.

Real companies make their own investment decisions but will gladly scoop up free cash or cheap grants if scattered about by gullible employees who have never run anything in the real world.

Yorkshire Forward was found out and got rid of, nobody noticed. Has Leeds and Yorkshire lost out? Will anyone care if Welcome to Yorkshire goes the same way and will the vast number of small tourism companies ignored on the altar of cycling care a jot?

From: Chris Skidmore, Barnsley.

EMPTY words and jingoism are not what the country needs to hear from the Prime Minister at the moment?

He could start his “levelling up” (whatever he believes that means?) agenda by acting upon the recommendations of the BEIS select committee inquiry into the theft from the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme by successive governments.

This would at least give a small boost to the economies of the former mining communities and increase the spending power of the recipients.

On a concluding note, it is extremely worrying for the people of this country, facing the extreme challenges to their basic human needs, that the Prime Minister failed to answer coherently, never mind truthfully, one question put to him.

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