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First published in Letters by

THE newly appointed Treasury Minister has called for a dramatic rethink of the High Speed project, warning the £50 billion scheme is not value for taxpayers’ money.

It is a historical fact that the costs will rise considerably during the construction to much more. It is likely the final service will be subsidised as others are.

The predicted building time is 2017 to 2032, with resulting journey times reduced by between 19 and 55 minutes.

For 15 years there will be widespread disruption causing severe and irreversible damage to wildlife habitats, heritage sites and areas of natural beauty along the route.

The countryside is already peppered with redundant railway lines.

The long-distance routes on the west and east side of the country between London to Scotland, with a network of cross country routes to west country from the north east could be supplemented. 

All the existing routes should be upgraded with additional coaches and more availability of rolling stock even lengthen platforms where practical. Such a plan would benefit more customers and more with seats. Without the extreme disruptive consequences described above.

J Beisly, Osprey Close, York.

Comments (3)

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2:17pm Wed 30 Apr 14

The Great Buda says...

If was that simple, they would do it.

The fact is however that our 150 year old railnetwork was designed for 150 years ago. There simply isn't the capacity in the current network. (and yes Beeching has a lot to answer for).
If was that simple, they would do it. The fact is however that our 150 year old railnetwork was designed for 150 years ago. There simply isn't the capacity in the current network. (and yes Beeching has a lot to answer for). The Great Buda
  • Score: 5

8:45pm Wed 30 Apr 14

Pinza-C55 says...

HS2 is a "vanity project". When built it will be leased to a private company/companies who will be expected to make a profit on their franchise of a 50 Billion railway. In return the government will expect to make a profit from the franchisees. You don't need to be an accountant to realise that the fares on this line will need to be enormous to break even let alone make a profit.
HS2 is a "vanity project". When built it will be leased to a private company/companies who will be expected to make a profit on their franchise of a 50 Billion railway. In return the government will expect to make a profit from the franchisees. You don't need to be an accountant to realise that the fares on this line will need to be enormous to break even let alone make a profit. Pinza-C55
  • Score: -13

4:22am Thu 1 May 14

Magicman! says...

All the existing routes should be upgraded with additional coaches and more availability of rolling stock even lengthen platforms where practical. Such a plan would benefit more customers and more with seats.

That IS actually happening, in addition to possibly HS2. Here's some things in the pipeline that have been signed off:
Transpennine Electrification York to Manchester - completed by December 2018,
North West Electrification Manchester to Blackpool via Chorley - completed by December 2016,
Ordsall Curve connecting Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations - completed by December 2016,
Electrification of Windermere branch line - completed by December 2018,
Electrification of Northerallerton to Middlesbrough line - date not certain but likely before 2020,
Electrification of Selby to Hull line - to be completed by December 2018 to connect to Transpennine electrification,
Various capacity improvements on the ECML including a flyover at Hitchin, various other flyovers, new freight lines to take freight off the passenger ECML routes,
Electrification of the York to harrogate line - currently under finalisation before date is set,
New fleet of Intercity Express trains built by Hitachi capacble of 140mph - first train in service by 2018.

... all that is happening entirely exclusive of HS2.
[quote]All the existing routes should be upgraded with additional coaches and more availability of rolling stock even lengthen platforms where practical. Such a plan would benefit more customers and more with seats. [/quote] That IS actually happening, in addition to possibly HS2. Here's some things in the pipeline that have been signed off: Transpennine Electrification York to Manchester - completed by December 2018, North West Electrification Manchester to Blackpool via Chorley - completed by December 2016, Ordsall Curve connecting Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations - completed by December 2016, Electrification of Windermere branch line - completed by December 2018, Electrification of Northerallerton to Middlesbrough line - date not certain but likely before 2020, Electrification of Selby to Hull line - to be completed by December 2018 to connect to Transpennine electrification, Various capacity improvements on the ECML including a flyover at Hitchin, various other flyovers, new freight lines to take freight off the passenger ECML routes, Electrification of the York to harrogate line - currently under finalisation before date is set, New fleet of Intercity Express trains built by Hitachi capacble of 140mph - first train in service by 2018. ... all that is happening entirely exclusive of HS2. Magicman!
  • Score: 4

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