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HS2 and the continuing north-south divide | Letters

Relating to Simon Jenkins’ article (HS2 fails each and every take a look at. This should be the top of it, 10 August), HS2 trains will serve town centres of Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield. There are a minimum of 20 town and the town centre places that can be served via HS2 trains from the south-east to Scotland. HS2 stays on course and inside its investment envelope, and there is not any govt record that means differently. The federal government’s HS2 industry case displays that for each and every £1 spent, £2.30 can be returned. We take our duty to taxpayers extremely significantly and practice strict govt tips on spending, together with on pay. The paintings we’ve carried out so far has supported greater than 2,000 UK companies and six,000 jobs, bringing advantages proper around the nation. Many extra 1000’s of jobs, together with 2,000 apprenticeships, can be supported via the challenge and will lend a hand force a brand new technology into engineering and era.

You quote Sir John Armitt, chair of the Nationwide Infrastructure Fee, however put out of your mind a key line. He says: “HS2 is a challenge whose time has come … Its advantages can be felt for many years to come back.” Organisations from the TUC to the CBI proceed to imagine that HS2 is the precise strategic intervention into the rustic. Elected civic and industry leaders throughout the United Kingdom proceed to look HS2 because the method to their productiveness hole, and parliament just lately sponsored HS2 via a ratio of just about 25 to one.

The case for HS2 is compelling, and it’s the most effective strategic intervention in UK shipping infrastructure that may ship the extent of connectivity and capability between the north and the Midlands had to rebalance the nationwide economic system within the 21st century.
Mark Thurston
Leader government, HS2 Ltd

I incessantly commute from Manchester to Derby and Leicester. Fifty years in the past I may commute direct via teach. Now it’s by way of Sheffield – an madness that calls for a transformation. Riding takes part the time. The unique direction of the primary line nonetheless exists – simply looking forward to funding: funding that might building up capability and sign up for two economically lively spaces (and provides get right of entry to to HS1). HS2 attracts the entire imaginable investment clear of this and for no explanation why.

Let’s get started a marketing campaign to divert HS2 funding to such actual enhancements. Now not so glamorous however a lot more helpful.
Robert Bracegirdle
Gawsworth, Cheshire

I’m a long-term opponent of HS2, having lived in London, the West Midlands and the north of England and experiencing all the ones spaces’ products and services. On the other hand, Simon Jenkins reveals no fear for the said objective of HS2 – ie to lend a hand regenerate the economies of the north and Midlands – nor the appalling bias in infrastructure investment to the south and London. The spending on Crossrail 2 particularly will get no point out within the article. Euston station, alternatively, options extremely in his issues. It’s transparent that no primary birthday party is ready to grab the dire state of affairs present in shipping products and services within the north and Midlands. If HS2 is cancelled and Crossrail 2 is constructed, that disproportionate hole is widened.
Richard Clark
York

There’s some other take a look at failure for HS2 that Simon Jenkins fails to say: software. HS2 is trumpeted as bringing prosperity to the north. That is at the assumption that the most efficient we will be able to do for the deficient benighted cloth-capped cloggies up north is to present them a snappy break out path to the thrill of the Nice Wen. It’s in doubt that many Londoners can be making exploratory trips within the opposite course, least of fascinated by cultural causes. If HS2 is constructed, I might danger a wager that extra go back tickets can be purchased in Manchester Piccadilly than in London Euston.

For northern prosperity, it could be way more really helpful (and less expensive) to construct HS3, the high-speed line from west to east – Liverpool to Hull. More effective (or even inexpensive) nonetheless could be simply to impress the prevailing trans-Pennine line, to supply a competent and speedy sufficient carrier linking primary northern towns. This is able to spice up each trade and business, and generate a real “northern powerhouse”.
Tim Gossling
Cambridge

Please, Simon Jenkins, don’t fall for the street foyer determine of eight% of commute in the United Kingdom being via rail. That may a good comparability if it have been imaginable to make all imaginable trips via teach however – undoubtedly since Beeching – that isn’t the case. As an example, all trips from Bude, Fakenham, Tenterden or Kirkcudbright should a minimum of partially be made via avenue and, for the reason that contemporary cuts to native bus subsidies, an increasing number of via automobile. Nor can many night-time trips be made via rail, and for disabled other folks the probabilities are much more curtailed.

In all probability you might want to glance intimately at what an affordable estimate may well be for the proportion of other folks opting for to commute via teach the place there’s a affordable rail choice. Taking a look at, as an example, commute between Sevenoaks and central London, the place there’s a common, lovely dependable carrier between crack of dawn and nighttime, even at as of late’s greater fares massive numbers of other folks commute incessantly via teach. It most effective takes a brief test on Google maps and so on to search out that, the place there’s a rail choice, the teach is continuously a lot faster point-to-point than the auto. And really many of us if truth be told like travelling via teach, and can accomplish that if they’ve the choice – viz the at all times higher-than-forecast use of reopened railways, just like the Waverley path to Edinburgh.

So, alternatively HS2 seems, rail is very a lot a part of the way forward for commute; the concept that a large road-building programme is the solution to the whole thing died with Beeching and Marples.
Richard Townend
Sevenoaks, Kent

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