Britain needs HS2
SIR – Chris Grayling now says that the HS2 extension to Manchester and Leeds might never be built because of objections (report, November 4).
What do the Lord Mayors of Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Nottingham make of this lack of commitment? It will confirm their long-held views that infrastructure investment is only for the South East. All the supposed commitment to the Northern Powerhouse will only be believed when the projects are built.
As a politician, Mr Grayling also needs to ensure that Britain is a suitable place for foreign investors post Brexit, with a modern road and rail system.
East Horsley, Surrey
SIR – The official cost for the construction of HS2 has increased to £56 billion and it is feared that the final cost may be as high as £100 billon due to the complexity of the project. This potential increase alone is higher than the total education budget for 2019 and almost as much as the defence budget, both of which are in desperate need of investment.
It is time to abandon this vanity project of dubious benefit and use the billions saved more wisely.
SIR – Chris Grayling says: “This industry has got to help make the case for HS2… It will be a fantastic railway, one of the best in Europe…”
Surely the case has to be made for a project before it is started and, in this instance, it clearly has not. As for “the best in Europe”, the Germans and French already have superior railways. Building HS2 with old technology will mean it will be out of date before it is opened in 2030. Anyway, by then there may well be flying cars and many more Maglev lines in Europe. Duncan Rayner
SIR – I see from your article (Business, November 4) that “passenger numbers are dwindling” on Arriva’s northern route. I also read that there is now serious doubt that the next section of HS2 will be built north of Birmingham.
Is it not time that Cabinet members faced up to the fact that HS2 is grossly over budget, is now old technology, is not needed and is running some three years behind schedule already because of increasing unforeseen technical issues?
Fingers crossed sanity will prevail one day. Paul Fullagar London SE1