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.