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Rail plan a failure?
I AM a fan of the railways and use them a lot. Sure, improvements are needed, for example, in the Transpennine services linking cities in the north.
But I have seen no convincing business case for HS1 or HS2. There will be some job gains in the construction phase, whenever that is, but far too late to help with current economic problems.
Can anyone be sure that an even faster link to York will not just mean business people getting back to London quicker, more commuters from York to London and possibly tourists deciding York is an easy day trip rather than pay for hotels and B&B?
Some tweaking of the present services at a fraction of the cost would suffice. We are not a big country and the time gains door-to-door would be minor for many. It is not even planned to go in to St Pancras and thus link directly with markets abroad.
Ken Corcoran, Holly Terrace, York.
• ONCE again the country is at the whim of short-sighted politicians who believe spending £30 billion-plus on a new rail link is a good idea.
This is the same short-sightedness that saw the Government decimate our rail infrastructure in the 1960s. What should be done is to upgrade what we already have and build new double-decked trains like the French TGV, thereby instantly carrying twice as many passengers per train.
This would not take 20 years to do, would not mean destroying farm land and property and would leave track space free to make better use of local services.
In the village where I live, not far from the East Coast Main Line, there are remnants of the old railway station that Beeching was responsible for destroying.
I’m certain there are hundreds more that could be put back in service throughout the country, thereby taking many vehicles off the road, including the masses of freight that currently clog the motorways.
Is that too simple for our politicians to understand? Have they forgotten we live on an overcrowded island? Or are there financial motives in play here regarding who gets awarded the contracts to build the new line?
John Ward, Pinfold Terrace, Tollerton, York.