There is an alternative rail scheme to HS2 to connect the North - Yorkshire Post letters

What is the best way to connect the North? Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
What is the best way to connect the North? Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

From: Colin Elliff, Civil Engineering Principal, High Speed UK.

Henri Murison seeks to dismiss (The Yorkshire Post, Letters, May 18) the alternative transport schemes to HS2 put forward by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, on the basis that “the sums don’t add up”.

But he offers no credible evidence to justify his assertions, and his claim that Northern Powerhouse Rail is the “only properly-costed scheme to improve east-west links” is just plain wrong.

Our High Speed UK-North scheme was by far the largest-scale proposal to emerge as a winner from the TPA’s Great British Transport Competition, and the independent judging panel was certainly convinced that HSUK-N comprised a viable and vastly superior alternative to the official Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) proposals.

Hopefully these facts will convince Mr Murison:

HSUK-N’s routes, connecting all the major cities of the North, have been designed in detail by experienced railway engineers.

HSUK-N’s £18.1bn cost is baselined against HS2’s £55.6bn cost, and is around £7bn less than comparable elements of NPR.

HSUK-N hugely outperforms NPR on any comparator of capacity, connectivity or journey time, and the primary reason is that HSUK-N avoids NPR’s disastrous dependency on HS2.

HSUK-N is fully compatible with the wider HSUK vision for a national high speed rail network interlinking all major UK cities.

HSUK has been developed in the North, with the express purpose of invigorating all regional economies.

HSUK stands ready to engage with Northern business and civic leaders to ensure that the North gets the efficient rail network that it needs and deserves.

From: David Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe.

What does common sense tell us about the building of HS2? Well... it tells us that given the choice of building a high speed link between London and the North, or one between Liverpool and Hull, passing through the heart of Yorkshire, the latter is the obvious choice.

In fact it is essential to us in the North. But it isn’t the choice of government.

Governments, whatever their colour, have always dictated to the North and will continue to do so.

The present one is only playing lip service to the Northern Powerhouse idea.

The very last thing it wants is for a powerful North to be in a position to challenge, even dictate, to the South.