Don’t believe claims made for HS2

Worried about HS2: Won’t faster journey times to London make it easier for York residents to commute to London, and contribute even more to the brain-drain to the capital?

Worried about HS2: Won’t faster journey times to London make it easier for York residents to commute to London, and contribute even more to the brain-drain to the capital?

First published in Letters by

HOW right of Julian Cole (column, March 20) to inject a note of scepticism into discussion of HS2 and its supposed benefits for York.

I have seen plenty of assertions that the high-speed rail connection will be good for the local economy, but little in the way of evidence for this view. No doubt the construction and operation of the line could create extra jobs in York’s rail-based companies, but once the construction is done, does anybody really think that what is holding the York local economy back is the lack of a fast rail connection to London?

Surely it’s just as likely that faster journey times will merely make it easier for York residents to commute to London, and thus contribute even more to the brain-drain to the capital. And all this at the cost of massive environmental destruction, including irreplaceable ancient woodland.

Spending even a fraction of the cost of HS2 on improving rail connections in Yorkshire and across the Pennines would do far more for the regional economy.

Mark Gladwin, Huntington Road, York.

Comments (6)

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4:01pm Tue 25 Mar 14

roadwars says...

Also, we already have a fast rail connection to London and it is direct rather than going through the West Midlands. The only possible benefit of building HS2 to York is through increased capacity and choice of services, both of which could be achieved through much less costly methods such as upgrading the existing line.
Also, we already have a fast rail connection to London and it is direct rather than going through the West Midlands. The only possible benefit of building HS2 to York is through increased capacity and choice of services, both of which could be achieved through much less costly methods such as upgrading the existing line. roadwars
  • Score: 5

5:15pm Tue 25 Mar 14

old_geezer says...

The main benefits of HS2 will be increasing capacity on the East and West main lines, rather than shaving a few minutes from London northwards. However Mr Gladwin is correct, the money would be better spent on improving the existing network and rolling stock, electrification, and reopening several closed links. Sadly, politicians like flashy new projects they can boast about, rather than less glamorous incremental improvements.
The main benefits of HS2 will be increasing capacity on the East and West main lines, rather than shaving a few minutes from London northwards. However Mr Gladwin is correct, the money would be better spent on improving the existing network and rolling stock, electrification, and reopening several closed links. Sadly, politicians like flashy new projects they can boast about, rather than less glamorous incremental improvements. old_geezer
  • Score: 7

8:26pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Pinza-C55 says...

It's a gross squandering of taxpayer's and essentially a vanity project for a government which is bankrupt. When it is built it will be leased out to private companies so that they can make a return on the money spent by the taxpayer.
That said it is more or less useless to protest against it because "they" have the power and don't care what "we" think.
It's a gross squandering of taxpayer's and essentially a vanity project for a government which is bankrupt. When it is built it will be leased out to private companies so that they can make a return on the money spent by the taxpayer. That said it is more or less useless to protest against it because "they" have the power and don't care what "we" think. Pinza-C55
  • Score: 4

10:55pm Tue 25 Mar 14

ColdAsChristmas says...

The country is £1.3Trillion + in debt and so we can't afford it anyway, unless we take on even more debt.. With the closure of power stations; we might not have the spare capacity to run these trains anyway. Still we could always use the Eggborough coal to power the trains?
The country is £1.3Trillion + in debt and so we can't afford it anyway, unless we take on even more debt.. With the closure of power stations; we might not have the spare capacity to run these trains anyway. Still we could always use the Eggborough coal to power the trains? ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: 0

3:22am Wed 26 Mar 14

Magicman! says...

Just a point to note... £42 Billion of funding has been allocated for HS2; if HS2 is cancelled, only a maximum of £4.2 billion will be transferred to tansport projects, and of that only a small amount will go to Network Rail for track and infastructure improvements - which relates to just 2.1% of the initial £42 Billion.
So whether you're for or against HS2, the simple fact is that if it does not go ahead, the normal rail network will NOT get £42 billion's worth of line and capacity improvements instead.
Just a point to note... £42 Billion of funding has been allocated for HS2; if HS2 is cancelled, only a maximum of £4.2 billion will be transferred to tansport projects, and of that only a small amount will go to Network Rail for track and infastructure improvements - which relates to just 2.1% of the initial £42 Billion. So whether you're for or against HS2, the simple fact is that if it does not go ahead, the normal rail network will NOT get £42 billion's worth of line and capacity improvements instead. Magicman!
  • Score: 1

11:00am Wed 26 Mar 14

Pinza-C55 says...

Magicman! wrote:
Just a point to note... £42 Billion of funding has been allocated for HS2; if HS2 is cancelled, only a maximum of £4.2 billion will be transferred to tansport projects, and of that only a small amount will go to Network Rail for track and infastructure improvements - which relates to just 2.1% of the initial £42 Billion.
So whether you're for or against HS2, the simple fact is that if it does not go ahead, the normal rail network will NOT get £42 billion's worth of line and capacity improvements instead.
But it will also be £42 billion not wasted on what is, in effect, a speculative business venture. And you've left out the roughly £7 billion to be spent on trains for this project.
How high do you think the fares will need to be to recoup £50 billion?
[quote][p][bold]Magicman![/bold] wrote: Just a point to note... £42 Billion of funding has been allocated for HS2; if HS2 is cancelled, only a maximum of £4.2 billion will be transferred to tansport projects, and of that only a small amount will go to Network Rail for track and infastructure improvements - which relates to just 2.1% of the initial £42 Billion. So whether you're for or against HS2, the simple fact is that if it does not go ahead, the normal rail network will NOT get £42 billion's worth of line and capacity improvements instead.[/p][/quote]But it will also be £42 billion not wasted on what is, in effect, a speculative business venture. And you've left out the roughly £7 billion to be spent on trains for this project. How high do you think the fares will need to be to recoup £50 billion? Pinza-C55
  • Score: 0

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