Make more use of East Coast Main Line instead of HS2 – Yorkshire Post letters

From: Paul Brown, Bents Green Road, Sheffield.

Would improvements to the East Coast Main Line negate the need for HS2?

WE already have a high speed rail line to the North, it is the East Coast Main Line (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, May 11). The sensible option would be to widen the formation to four tracks for its full length and run new fast trains at 200mph, alongside the existing railway.

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The line to York and Leeds only runs through Doncaster, Retford and Peterborough on its way north, all of which can be accommodated in such a development. This would be a great deal better option than constructing a line with long lengths of tunnel or other noise reduction measures through housing estates in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire.

It appears to me that in planning to run a line through urban areas the cost of extra access and security measures for local residents has been greatly under-estimated.

Cruising at 200mph gives us the ability to achieve a Leeds to London journey time of around one hour. Continuing such a line through the Pennines would perhaps add another 30 minutes travel time to Manchester, including a stop at Bradford.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

I CAN’T pretend that Robert Nisbet’s distant vision of “new direction for rail” fuelled optimism (The Yorkshire Post, May 7).

He’s certainly done his boardroom-style homework, but can he not see that his “long-term plan for real lasting change” is what we were promised – or rather, led to believe – 25-plus years ago and we’re still waiting? “Would” this and “would” that, but nothing specific about the “what” and “when”.

“The public sector stepping back” sounds familiar – “let the market decide” perhaps? In one way or another, we’ve been listening to that for the last 30-plus years and the market has decided that Britain shall have the most ineffective and expensive public transport in Europe – where it still exists at all.

Mr Nisbet is a director of the curiously-named Rail Delivery Group. About a year ago, weren’t they supposed to be sorting out the rip-off ticketing structure with which we were lumbered by privatisation. Please, when might we expect delivery Robert – this week; next week; sometime perhaps?

City is stuck in the past

From: Bob Watson, Baildon.

THE West Yorkshire Combined Authority is formulating a proposal for a mass transit system to cover Leeds, Bradford and surrounding areas (The Yorkshire Post, May 6).

The report includes details of systems in other cities such as Manchester, and continues that systems in Nottingham and Edinburgh have seen major growth. The expressed hope is that the new network could be completed in the 2030s.

Just where have the Combined Authority, and the inept Leeds City Council, been for the past 20 years? We have all been crying out for a mass transit system for all that time, only for Leeds City Council to be so useless that we are no further forward at all, and when one should already be in place and be being expanded.

That we may have to wait for around another 15 years tells us all just how badly we have been, and continue to be, served by those in positions of power.

Nice pictures, poor words

From: Paul Ridyard, Menston.

MANY will agree that ITV4 should be congratulated on an outstanding series of programmes covering the various Tour de Yorkshire events. In extremely testing circumstances, the overhead pictures brought to life the stunning scenery, and the motorcycle crews added to the drama in very trying conditions, recording the thrilling action at ground level.

Less impressive was the woeful commentary offered by the presenters. It seemed at times as though they hadn’t a clue of the pictures being broadcast, and continued to spout banal statistics and past achievements of the riders.

Surely, the job of a commentator is to highlight to the viewer the pictures being shown on their monitors, and be aware of any points of interest coming up along the route?

I had the impression that these presenters had not done their homework and were often silent – or droning on about some unrelated subject.

Symptoms of poor training

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

I AM not surprised to read that GP numbers are declining. My grandson is doing his final examinations in medicine. Instead of examining real patients, he will be given classical symptoms by actors.

As few patients present in this way, this means that the students don’t get a chance to make a real connection with patients, which is the interesting part of General Practice.

This poor training, together with targets of seeing patients in 10-minute slots, leaves little time for the doctor to educate patients in how to take care of themselves with minor symptoms, hence the increasing use of surgeries and the length of time waiting.

Isn’t it about time the professionals were allowed to get on with the job?

British spirit

From: Dai Woosnam, Scartho, Grimsby.

WHAT a game! Liverpool, with a three-goal deficit, beat Barcelona 4-0 to get through to the Champions League Final in Madrid. I was not surprised to see such guts from a British team. Tottenham then overcame a similar deficit in the second half against Ajax in Amsterdam to also make the final. It makes one laugh to consider that some do not think Britain can go it alone with Brexit.