THERE has been a lot said recently about cancelling HS2 (Jayne Dowle, The Yorkshire Post, April 15). This is a short-sighted idea. While we can all agree that it should not be an excuse or bar from investing in Northern rail, or road improvements, we should all face facts.
People do want to travel to and from London – and some of the intermediate places. Travel by car is going to be affected by two factors. The pending ban on the sale of diesel and petrol cars and the proposed introduction of speed limiting on new vehicles (whilst not condoning excessive speeds, those who drive a lot will have got used to ‘an extra margin’).
It is now being suggested that the sale of diesel goods vehicles could be banned from 2040. This might encourage more goods by rail and, thus, the requirement of more line space to increase track capacity.
The population is increasing and their travel demands will not reduce.
The current trains are extremely packed and the lines they run on are fully used without compromising safety.
In addition, how helpful would it be to have an alternative route to London, or to its connections, if there was an incident on the existing routes?
The red herring of the differential in ticket prices, even if they started to operate, is a political one.
If we have the infrastructure in place, the conditions of operating it are able to be changed according to need and political intention.
At present we don’t have the option of doing anything. If a major decision was made to upgrade the major existing routes, the closures and delays would be difficult.
If we had the HS2 passenger route, alternatives for passengers could be agreed and any needed work could be implemented more efficiently.
There is sarcasm poured at the speed increases that have been quoted as a side issue to the project, but even that is valuable.
Look how foreigners, who are our sources of tourism income, compare their faster transport at home to our slow railways. It is important that we invest in the future and do not shy away from such projects for short-term political gain.
From: William O’Neill, Guiseley.
UNTIL we see real investment in local rail services, including extra capacity on the Wharfedale Line, opposition to HS2 will continue to grow – and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, and others, need to recognise this.