A RAILWAY consultant from York has written to MPs to say that HS2 is not the only - or best - high speed rail proposal for the UK.

Former City of York Councillor Quentin Macdonald, who is a professional railway signal and telecommunications engineer, was promoting his alternative proposals, dubbed High Speed UK (HSUK), which he claims would be cheaper and greener, and connect up many more cities, than HS2.

He and railway civil engineer Colin Elliff , of Harrogate, wrote to MPs yesterday on the eve of a vote on the Third Reading of the HS2 Phase One Bill, which would authorise construction of the first part of the line between London and Birmingham.

They said there was a plethora of concerns about the current HS2 plans. "For instance, HS2’s stations are few in number and many major UK cities will be bypassed," they claimed. "In addition to that, there are no credible proposals to explain how disconnected stations will be linked to surrounding communities and there is no effective co-ordination between HS2 and any future ‘HS3’ transpennine routes."

The pair said HSUK had been designed from the outset as a fully integrated national network, offering direct high speed links between all of the UK’s principal regional cities and direct links from these cities to Heathrow (and Gatwick), and other principal regional airports.

There would also be an integral transpennine link meeting all aspects of the Northern Powerhouse remit, a 4-track spine route aligned via the M1 corridor and complete avoidance of the Chilterns AONB, and other sensitive areas.

They said: "Although the task of designing a fully integrated national rail network is a highly technical matter, it is a relatively simple matter to demonstrate HSUK’s overwhelming technical superiority as a national railway network."