YP Letters: Capacity, not speed, means we need HS2

Will HS2 be good for Britain or not?
Will HS2 be good for Britain or not?
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From: Dr Alex Strickland, Liverpool.

I WAS somewhat disappointed to read the letter from Dr David Hill concerning HS2 (‘HS2 is a pointless scheme going nowhere fast’, The Yorkshire Post, February 24). An attempt to reduce the argument to journey times – claiming arriving in a London 25 minutes earlier – does nobody any credit. The key arguments for HS2, and more importantly Northern Powerhouse Rail HS3 links across the Pennines, are that they deal with capacity problems and boost connectivity.

Passenger loadings on Britain’s railways have doubled over the last 20 years and grow in excess of five per cent per year. If we take no action, by the middle of next decade, the West and East Coast main lines will be full. HS2 is one way of starting to address this.

Connectivity is also key. The ability to deliver high-paid jobs depends in part upon improving connectivity. Efficient rail links provide a crucial linkage between workers and jobs and offers the prospect of boosting job opportunities. It is true that there are new forms of transport technology such as the hyperloop – which may be better than HS2 – but we might do well to embrace the benefits, make the investment and not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Transport on road to past

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

DAVID Behrens highlights our complete lack of anything resembling ‘Transport for London’ (The Yorkshire Post, February 24.

In the 1980s, ‘Yorkshire Rider’ combined Leeds City Transport, along with other council and privately run services; a sensible bit of joined-up thinking. Alas, it didn’t last long.

David’s “mish-mash of disparate bus companies” was an outcome of the enforced worship of the sacred cow of competition – mindless dogma, rather than properly funded and integrated public services.

The last 30 years have seen routes “competed” out of existence, with those which remain charging prohibitively high fares.

The dreary history of the last 60 years of transport in Leeds has been well documented in these pages.

The council claims that it is about to “revolutionise” the city’s public transport, with yet more buses.

How did it arrive at this – by digging out the transport committee minutes from 1953 and digitalising them 
perhaps? And how have the city’s eight MPs been allowed to get away with letting this miserable sequence of events happen?

Let children walk to school

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

TOM Richmond hit the nail on the head when he commented on the number of cars either taking the children to school or picking them up (The Yorkshire Post, February 24).

It is not only Leeds where this takes place. I should think it is a common situation whenever there is a school, it is certainly the case in Driffield and the wise try to avoid passing a school at the critical times if at all possible.

The almost non-existent police service does little to help. We didn’t have cars in my youth and many kids cycled or walked to and from distant rural areas or travelled by one of the two horse buses from distant farms. There was a motor bus from some other villages which bore the nick-name of ‘Monkey Bus’.

KFC trumps Trump now

From: Brian H Sheridan, Lodge Moor, Sheffield.

WITHOUT wishing to conflate a genuine tragedy with an absurdity, I don’t know which shocked me the most: Donald Trump’s reaction to grieving survivors of America’s latest mass shooting (a proposal of bonuses for gun-toting teachers) or reports (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, February 24) that police and MPs are having to field customer complaints about KFC running out of stock.

From: Graham Lund, Girvan.

THERE has been some disruption to chicken supplies of late. There is a way to bring good news from bad. When supplies are restored to previous levels, let us supply the customers with exclusively free-range chickens. Then we can market a new improved product and justify a small premium.

May wrong to hail fracking

From: Nina Smith, Hebden Bridge.

SO Theresa May insists that fracking will benefit the UK and local communities (The Yorkshire Post, February 24). She gives two reasons – reducing our reliance on imported energy and the fact that local communities “will potentially be able” to claim of community funds.

The Prime Minister fails to mention the adverse effects –pollution, noise, destruction of countryside, impact on wildlife and local ecosystems, impact on tourism, impact on mental health of local people. Will Mrs May be so enthusiastic if fracking is proposed in her Berkshire village? On this, as on Brexit, it seems that our Prime Minister is under the cosh of her right wing.

Giving in to EU’s Mafia

From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

SO Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Keir Starmer think it is a good idea to treat their true majority Labour core voters, not Momentum £3-a-throw members, as idiots by wanting the exact opposite to the majority of real Labour voters in demanding a custom union with the EU’s Mafia bully boys. Or do they think they may just bring down the Government with the help of Tory ‘traitor’ MPs?