Reader’s letter: Right decision
In his letter (Levelling Up Claim Is Wrong, News Views, October 19) B. Poynter invokes the capacity argument in defence of HS2.
While a fully built HS2 would have added capacity to the rail network, it would have been the wrong capacity in the wrong place, really only benefitting those wanting to travel between London and big urban centres in the north-west.
Apart from going way over budget, it wasn't likely to be fully operation until at 2041, which, I suspect, is an optimistic estimate.
Also, within recent history a cost-benefit analysis of HS2 concluded that it would deliver 90p of value for every pound spent on it.
Maths isn't, and never has been, my strongest subject. However, even I can work out that such a proposition doesn't represent value for money by any stretch of the imagination.
Within even more recent history, a poll of people in the north of England indicated 34% supported the building of HS2 but 40% did not. One can only assume that the remaining 26% either didn't know or didn't care.
A fully built HS2 would have effectively bypassed the east of England and it would have done little to easy capacity problems on the East Coast Mainline.
It certainly wouldn't have done anything to ease congestion on the EMR Leicester to Lincoln line.
If B. Poynter has ever tried to catch a train from Newark Castle or Collingham to Lincoln at peak times, or simply been unlucky enough to pick the wrong train, they will know that it can be a pretty miserable experience.
Some other local lines are, I gather, similarly congested.
All of that can be fixed by the provision of extra rolling stock and a few additional services, if the will to do it exists, for a tiny fraction of what HS2 would have cost.
Our nearest HS2 station would have been in the middle of nowhere in between Derby and Nottingham, neither city being deemed big or important enough to have a HS2 station in its own right.
The time and effort involved in reaching it would have negated any real benefit for residents of Newark and Sherwood.
I think the Prime Minister should be congratulated on taking the right decision over HS2 and concentrating on improving local road and rail links across the north and midlands instead.
My only sorrow is that Boris Johnson didn't have the good sense to stop HS2 three and a half years ago before money was wasted on the southern leg.
For that to be of any earthly use it will have to terminate Euston as a terminus outside central London will be neither use nor ornament.
— Adrian F. Sunman,South Collingham.