Bri­tain needs HS2

The Sunday Telegraph - - Letters To The Editor - John Franklin Alistair Mackay

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.

Dunoon, Ar­gyll

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 Build­ing HS2 with old tech­nol­ogy will mean it will be out of date be­fore it is opened in 2030.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

Sun­ning­dale, Berk­shire

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

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