Readers' letters: 'Limited funds should go towards other projects rather than HS2'

Re: HS2. I note in the media that ‘northern’ politicians are quoted saying we must continue with this project, which, in reality, is yet another transport infrastructure project with London the major beneficiary - HS1, Crossrail1 and Crossrail 2 spring to mind.

By Clare Kelly
Thursday, 9th January 2020, 11:45 am
The construction site for the HS2 high speed rail scheme in Euston, London
The construction site for the HS2 high speed rail scheme in Euston, London

We, outside the metropolis, are being fed with the normal propaganda used to support these vanity projects.

A few facts are relevant:

1. The original cost projection of £53bn could now double.

2. The original cost-benefit analysis showed London as the major beneficiary.

3. Much is made of the lack of capacity on the West Coast Main Line - in reality, just that bit that carries commuter trains into London, hence the inclusion of a major rebuild of Euston into the project.

4. Phase 1 is all about London to Birmingham, saving 29 minutes on the journey time to a new terminus in Birmingham with no onward rail links.

5. With limited engineering and construction resources, HS2 will be competing for those resources with any major new northern projects.

6. Timings have already slipped considerably with no HS2 trains likely to reach Manchester for another 20 years.

(I suspect that our views on ever faster speed versus climate change may be quite different by then!)

All those of us who have stood on the one northbound platform at Piccadilly, waiting in hope that the dirty overcrowded trains would actually arrive, would welcome a realistic re-prioritisation.

Let’s put the Southern section of HS2 on the back-burner.

Devote our limited national resources to projects like Northern Crossrail and the building of additional platforms at Piccadilly - which seems to be part of the longer term HS2 plan anyway.