We need to cut our losses and pull the plug on HS2 - Yorkshire Post Letters
Scrap HS2 now. Why does a mile of high speed line cost £20m in France and £400m for HS2?
What an appalling situation to be in for the country over this bright white elephant that is making us an international laughing stock. We need to cut our losses and terminate the whole thing started by Gordon Brown and Lord (Andrew) Adonis
For us living in the north, we, at least - until the past few days - were hoping there may be something for us at the end of a very dark tunnel (pardon the appropriate pun). But we get the announcement that the line will possibly not actually start from a main London station and will end at Birmingham with the other legs to Manchester and Leeds terminated. It’s understandable that Andy Burnham the Mayor of Manchester is threatening to sue the government.
You know you’re in trouble when the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is quoted by a leak before the Tory Party Conference, in wanting to pull the plug, the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt screaming about the spiralling costs “were getting totally out of control” and Paul Johnson of the Institute of Fiscal Studies saying: “This whole thing, it just makes me want to weep. It just makes me despair. I mean, the original sin, as it were, was agreeing to do it in the first place”.
Why have the costs gone completely through the roof? It must be incompetence on a record scale by those in charge. Who is responsible for the decision making so far and who are the companies given the contracts. It just seems that any major projects like this appear to be a licence to, literally, print our taxpayers money.
This should have been a straightforward operation as we are about the last major country in the world to actually build a high-speed line. It’s all been done through most of Europe - I’ve used the German ICE lines from Berlin to Cologne - and the excellent Eurostar.
Japan has had the bullet trains for decades - indeed so long there’s one in the National Railway Museum in York. The technology is proven all around the world so why haven’t we tendered the companies with a proven track record?
It’s not as though we have to go through the mountains of Switzerland: the land is all fairly flat for the whole line so I am astounded to hear that there is a nine mile tunnel. A nine mile tunnel for heaven’s sake - why? I do not feel inclined to risk going through a tunnel at 200mph under any circumstances.
The comparisons of costs are breathtaking. A mile of high speed railway in Germany cost £40m but HS2 - deep breath - £400m! I try not to use exclamation marks but I think one is deserved.
Unbelievable. In the name of sanity scrap HS2 now and save £70bn of the £108bn currently estimated - write off the £40bn already wasted.
The North would be far better off levelled up with a high speed line - HSNorth 1 - between Liverpool and Hull calling at Manchester, Bradford, Leeds and York and upscaling and electrifying the present tracks and link roads.
Nobody can afford to stay in London now as it’s a complete rip-off capital unfortunately. My wife could not afford to visit RHS Chelsea or Hampton Court but had tickets for Wimbledon and was forced to stay near the M25 to save money to be able to go.