NOT so many years ago an organisation flew over England to blast us to pieces. However, in true bulldog fashion, we picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves down and rebuilt our country.
Now 70 years later another organisation who found a map of England has drawn a straight line across it akin to a three-year-old with a pencil and ruler, and, with a blasé attitude, declared that several areas are to be blitzed again just to lay four steel railway lines for the esoteric and sheer egocentric pleasure of declaring that travellers will reach their intended destination quicker.
The cost? It is not the cost of travel, it is the cost of the trauma to the inflicted population, the loss of green areas and woodland (they even want to pass Hardwick Hall inside Hardwick estate), and also the destruction of settled and happy communities.
Those southerners who earn thousands of pounds to evict tenants and businesses to raze their dwellings could not be less concerned about the wounding they will inflict in North Nottinghamshire, East Derbyshire and South Yorkshire.
All they can spout is fictitious economic fortunes to be enjoyed. Not one has shown any sympathy, remorse, consolation or even consideration to the people they are to injure. In many minds this is a despicable act, and it has to be stopped. It will be no surprise to see civil unrest breaking out.
If hundreds can organise themselves to protest about Brexit, then many thousands can congregate to protest about this pie in the sky they call HS2, and so they should.
From: Nigel Davies, London.
DAVID Behrens is quite correct to call for HS3 and improved connectivity to all towns (The Yorkshire Post, October 20). However HS2 is also required.
Last week, in a Westminster Hall debate, it was made clear that the forecast growth on the East Coast Main Line from London to Edinburgh is set to grow by 175 per cent over 20 years.
HS2 is the project to address this acute problem, and, as can been seen by the huge benefits already accruing in Birmingham, it will be an asset. The long-term growth projections cannot be ignored without an effective plan.
After a 10 year, £10bn upgrade of the West Coast Main Line, it added only 20 per cent to capacity and is already struggling to cope with rail traffic.
A failure to address the capacity issue at Heathrow 50 years ago has left the current expansion plans as a much less appropriate solution.
No doubt there will be disruption, as seen by 10 years of building for Crossrail in London and the plans for the trans-Pennine upgrade. In terms of the London-centric critics of both HS2 and HS3, there are many who do want to spend money north of Watford on either HS2 or HS3. Despite billions poured into the South East, there are a host of projects to replace HS2 and HS3, such as Crossrail 2, Heathrow, two crossings across the Lower Thames, an extension of Crossrail 1 to Kent, a bridge across the English Channel and, potentially, an airport in the Thames estuary.
These receive little criticism or debate, as they are deemed to be “essential investment”. Both HS2 and HS3 are essential to the whole of the UK, and we should have the ambition to build both.
From: Canon Michael Storey, Healey Wood Road, Brighouse.
I READ, with interest, David Howram’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, October 20) on the Beeching cuts, in which he mentioned the closure of the Leeds New Line.
Passenger traffic ended on October 3, 1953, my birthday.
On that day I had the honour of going on a train from Battyeford to Huddersfield to watch Huddersfield Town play Middlesbrough in the First Division.
I can’t remember the result but I can remember feeling very sad that Battyeford had lost its station. Had that line remained open, it would have been very busy today, taking passengers from the Spen Valley towns etc quickly into Leeds.
An excellent article by David Behrens in the same newspaper sets out very good reasons for not building HS2. Saving 20 minutes on a journey to London could well be counter-productive, as so much work is done on laptops during journeys, with the present length of journeys. The £56bn would be much better spent in adding extra tracks on existing lines and re-opening those such as the Leeds New Line.
From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.
YOUR columnist David Behrens is so right with his comments about HS2.
I have long said if the money, which is mounting up at an alarming rate, was to be spent on updating the current lines and rolling stock, we would have a railway system to be proud of at a fraction of the cost.
I strongly suspect that, when the first phase is nearing completion, there will either be second thoughts about the cost, or a different government in power with the sense to stop the devastation before it goes any further.
We don’t rely on Russia’s gas
From Sue Cuthbert, Newton on Rawcliffe, North Yorkshire.
WOULD Dick Lindley (The Yorkshire Post, October 17) be happy to live with the daily disruption of hundreds of lorry movements, the vast use of precious drinking water and also the noise and pollution which goes with fracking?
He mentions “gangster states”. We import up to 50 per cent of our gas from Norway. I’m sure that they would be rather upset by this description.
There is a myth that we rely on Russia for our gas. Not so. The Government’s own figures show that we receive less than one per cent from that country.
This Government is now attempting to override the wishes of any council who opposes fracking. This would allow companies to explore for shale gas without planning permission.
This is an affront to democracy. The number of councils who are now saying no to this is growing daily.