Readers’ letters - Friday, November 18

The HS2 is an expensive vanity project says a reader. What do you think?

The HS2 is an expensive vanity project says a reader. What do you think?

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A white elephant project

It beggars belief that the present Government is still insistent on proceeding with this incredibly expensive £56bn white elephant HS2 railway project linking London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Manchester.

The net effect after completion will be to shave minutes off the present journey times between these cities and the capital, benefiting a comparative small number of executives, but doing little for improving our exports.

A fraction of this amount spent on upgrading and improving the existing rail links between Liverpool and Hull and the intermediate cities would have an immediate effect on the levels of output and employment in the northern half of the country.

It would revitalise these two ports, increasing our ability to export more of our goods worldwide, which is surely what Brexit was thought to achieve.

How this ‘vanity project’ was ever proven to be commercially justified in the first place is a mystery, but our present uncertain post-EU Brexit situation, causing escalating raw material costs and general uncertain future with negotiating new trade deals, must surely warrant abandoning this project forthwith.

Even if it were built, the extended contract time for its completion, as now forecasted, and the inevitable over-run costs, will mean it will prove a gigantic waste of taxpayers’ money, never producing the improved output necessary for UK’s prosperous future, but causing much disruption and misery for many of our citizenry.

As concerned voters, we should write to our MPs requesting their help in persuading the Government to abandon this incredibly expensive project in favour of much cheaper and faster improvements to targeted existing railway systems and rolling stock.

E J Tilley, Chorley

Democracy has a mid-life crisis

It is not surprising that your letters columns have recently carried many entries from people about the reactions to referenda and elections.

We seem to be losing the acceptance of democracy as we have known it.

Here, ‘Remainers’ are trying every subterfuge to delay, alter or negate the majority vote for Brexit.

In Scotland, ‘Home Rulers’ are seeking to imply that each of these votes is somehow worth more than each pro-UK vote, such that the minority should prevail.

In the USA, the day after democratically electing their new president, there are hordes on the streets proclaiming him not their president.

Now I read in The Times (November 11): “Bath and North East Somerset councillors voted unanimously in favour of the deal. It was approved by 35 votes to 22 at a council meeting in Bath.” (This related to Virgin running some NHS services – but no matter, it is the wording I comment upon).

It seems that democracy is having a mid-life crisis.

Neil Inkley, Walton-Le-Dale

Assessments are so unfair

Regarding the PIP (Personal Independence Payment) assessment, here’s a word of caution for anyone who is called for an assessment for this new disability benefit. If you want to show the health professionals you can be independent, that will go against you. If you look smart, that, too, will go against you. The questions they ask are NOT relevant to your illness or disability, they have only one thing in mind, to catch you out. They say: “If you have any further evidence, please send them in.” What they don’t tell you is this ‘medical evidence’ is disregarded. It means nothing to them. In their eyes, you are just another medical and vulnerable target. If you have an assessment, all I can say is good luck.

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool

I’ll never trust politicians again

The wishes of the British people are being betrayed by the judges – not because of the decision made by Lord Thomas, Sir Terence Etherton, and Lord Justice Sales, but because they knowingly allowed Mr Cameron and others to perpetuate the belief that the outcome of an EU referendum would be ‘binding’ and irreversible.

It was surely the duty of those who administer our laws to correct Mr Cameron and others, by making a public statement well before the referendum, clarifying that a decision to LEAVE the EU was NOT legally binding.

Why did they not do so? The scenario that, if we voted to leave, those wanting to remain in the EU would demand a Parliamentary vote on the PM’s intentions regarding EU negotiations, must have been envisaged by the judiciary. Has the authenticity of a referendum never been previously challenged? I suggest their lordships look up the definition of ‘honourable’.

We have also been betrayed by Prime Ministers and MPs who misled the electorate by not checking their facts and not taking good legal advice on whether the referendum was legally binding or just advisory. The judges and the MPs were just too arrogant to believe that ‘the people’ would vote to leave the EU!

I shall never again trust a politician or a judge. We must cut all ties with the European ‘Union’ – including the Single Market – if we are to become truly independent, be able to control immigration and our borders, abide by British laws and save over £10bn a year. These were the three main reasons for voting to leave the EU.

Harvey Carter, Newton

I had to request hospital change

A resident of Chorley, I have required hospital appointments on two occasions. On each occasion, I received by post, without consulting me, appointments for clinics held at Royal Preston Hospital. Only after direct requests were the appointments changed to Chorley Hospital. (There is an old saying, if you don’t use it, you will lose it).

I am 85 years of age and can only walk short distances with the aid of a stick. I can, however, manage Chorley Hospital by public transport. For Preston, the Ambulance Transport Service is required, putting extra strain on that service and expense on the health service. Finally I quote Coun Ralf Snape: “Chorley Hospital for Chorley people.”

M Shaw via email