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Reader’s letter: Railway issues fixed at fraction of HS2 cost

While he and I clearly disagree over whether HS2 would have been a good thing or not, I have to give Mr Poynter full marks for his persistence (Inability To Build Fast Trains Will Prove Costly, News Views, November 23).

Without knowing the wider context, I'm not altogether sure why Mr Poynter chose to drive down to Heathrow Airport. Under normal circumstances he could have got a train from Newark Northgate to London Kings Cross (1 hour and 20 minutes) and then got an underground train to Heathrow.

In total, the whole process would have a little over two and a half hours.


If Mr Poynter believes that HS2 would have opened up additional paths over the flat crossing at Newark, enabling two trains an hour to run from Nottingham to Newark, he knows more than I do.

My understanding was that HS2 would go nowhere near here.

What I do know is that a fully built HS2 would not have delivered value for money and, according to survey published only a few months ago in the Yorkshire Post, fewer people in the North of England supported it than didn't.

Congestion on the EMR line between Leicester and Lincoln is not so much caused by a lack of services as an inadequate supply of rolling stock.

Usually trains of only two carriages or 'units' to use EMR's preferred term, run on this busy line, even at peak times when demand means that nearly as many passengers are forced to stand as have a seat.

If the trains in question ran with a minimum of three or, better, four carriages, everyone could travel in a modicum of comfort.

One accepts that at smaller stations, Collingham includ-ed, it would doubtless be necessary for passengers to board and alight from the front two carriages. However, that would be a small price to pay in return for being able to travel in comfort.

Other than on rare occasions when an exception may be necessary or justifiable, I've all but given up rail travel anywhere near peak times between Collingham and Lincoln.

Fortunately, I'm currently in the position of being able to make that choice, but not everyone is so lucky.

It doesn't have to be this way though and the problem could easily be fixed, if the will exists to do it, for a miniscule fraction of what a fully built HS2, going nowhere near Newark anytime soon, would have cost. — A. F. SUNMAN, South Collingham.

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