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Reader’s letter: Levelling up claim is wrong

An open letter to Robert Jenrick MP: As you are aware, government spending on transport is massively concentrated on London and the South East.

In 2021-22, together with the West Midlands, the three regions received £2,767 per head of population, six- and-a-half times that of the East Midlands (£394).

Given that London, the South East and West Midlands are the only three regions that will now benefit from new high-speed rail, the government claim that truncating HS2 helps leveling up is clearly just plain wrong.

Indeed, the government's obsession with London and the South East is yet again confirmed with their decision to go ahead with getting the line into Euston rather than prioritising Birmingham to either the North West or the East Midlands, both of which would have made a real difference to either the Midlands or the North.

The Chancellor has said that he has no idea why major infrastructure schemes in the UK cost ten times more than they do in Europe. He only needs to spend a bit of time with somebody who understands the issues to know that it is due to poor planning, bad management and abysmal decisions by politicians.

The real tragedy of HS2 is that it's main purpose was to create capacity on our existing rail network to move freight off the roads and drive down carbon emissions.

Using money that was to be spent on railways to build new roads will simply increase those emissions.

The Government appears to have given up on net-zero. With record high temperatures in July and Septemberthat appears to be a highly irresponsible policy. — B. POYNTER, Collingham.

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