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.