We will re­gret rail project in 10 years

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

IN March 2003, par­lia­ment voted over­whelm­ingly in favour of in­vad­ing Iraq, with 412 votes in favour and 149 against. Some twelve years later, now we know Sad­dam Hus­sein had no weapons of mass de­struc­tion, I sug­gest the vot­ing ra­tio would have been very dif­fer­ent if MPs had been given more ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion.

Ob­vi­ously there is no com­par­i­son be­tween the in­va­sion of a for­eign coun­try and the con­struc­tion of a high-speed rail­way ex­cept that when MPs voted in favour of HS2 at the bill’s sec­ond read­ing in April – by an even big­ger ma­jor­ity, of 452 to 41 – I sug­gest that most of those who voted in favour were not fully aware of the facts or the pos­si­ble con­se­quences.

A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of those who voted against HS2 have con­stituen­cies in ar­eas which will be blighted by it. Th­ese MPs have been ac­cused of ‘NIMBY-ism’ – de­fend­ing their own back yards – but I would sug­gest that many of them voted the way they did not out of self-in­ter­est, but be­cause they had taken the trou­ble to look into the scheme in depth and re­alised what a de­struc­tive, poorly thoughtout and waste­ful project it is – with the bur­den fall­ing on the hap­less, hard-work­ing tax­payer. Let­ters to the Edi­tor, Buck­ing­hamshire Ad­ver­tiser, Trinity Mir­ror South­ern, c/o Trinity Mir­ror Colour Print, St Al­bans Road, Wat­ford, Herts WD24 7RG

I lis­tened closely to the Com­mons de­bate in April and con­cluded that most of those who spoke in favour of HS2 knew con­sid­er­ably less about the project than the mi­nor­ity who voted against. Ten, 15 or 20 years from now I fear that, as with the Iraq in­va­sion, we will con­clude that the de­ci­sion to build it was a to­tal dis­as­ter, but that we sim­ply weren’t aware of the de­tail or the im­pli­ca­tions at the time.

I sug­gest that we put the whole project on hold, spend no more money on devel­op­ment and or­gan­ise a ref­er­en­dum in which all the known facts would be clearly and openly stated, with more hon­esty this time. Per­haps then this £50-80 bil­lion catas­tro­phe-in­wait­ing can be avoided.

JU­LIAN WIL­LIAMS Cheap­side Lane

Den­ham

ad­min­is­tered and my con­di­tion mon­i­tored.

The crew de­liv­ered me to A&E where they made sure that I was prop­erly handed over to the hos­pi­tal’s med­i­cal staff be­fore leav­ing, de­spite the fact that their shift had ended some time ear­lier.

They were won­der­ful.

ED­WARD PER­ROTT

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