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HS2 will ne a burden on our future
4:53pm Thursday 5th September 2013 in Letters
I NOTE in last week’s paper Dr Peter Hirst, for whom I have admiration, is airing views on the benefits of going ahead with this money gobbler, HS2.
Whilst Dr Hirst acknowledges that it is going to cost a ‘pot of gold’ to initiate this project, and says it will save us all money in saving on taxes the construction will generate with jobs etc, who does he think will be paying taxes to build it in the first place?
It is estimated it will cost up to £80 billion to build.
Even today the Institute of Directors (IOD) has questioned the monetary return.
Whilst I agree that more needs to be done to get freight on the rails, and tourist trade is all very good, but apart from the well heeled tourists, and anyone who can claim back the cost of a ticket estimated to be in the region of £400, in the words from Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver, Who will buy this wonderful morning?
Dr Hurst states the time and savings in carbon footprint are well worth saving. If you can only get on it at certain stations such as Manchester how much time and carbon footprint will that extend by people having to travel say to Manchester and grid lock in the town?
He says local network rail can be improved with an improved localised rail structure – will priority be given to the HS2 where lines converge putting local rail to the back burner?
Currently the Flying Scotsman in its centenary year still holds the speed record of over 120 mph, so whether you are in favour or not of construction going ahead let’s hope the writer along with the rest of us has deep pockets.
Dr Hirst does not mention leaves on the line and other general hold-ups due to broken down trains and engineering works?
I suspect the writer is unaware when I used to work in King Street, that the Middlewich branch line, he endeavours to reopen, had to be constantly re- ballasted just to maintain it for freight use.
Localised employment will be minimal any sensible constructor will have a national gang of rail construction workers who will just move along the country as the project if undertaken.
True there maybe some hotel type employment created close to the construction/West Coast line but even this will be short-lived and when the high speed line is operational who will want to stay in a local hotel along the line anyway?
With the IOD questioning construction – will this be a fast track to recovery?
The outstanding debt on the privatised M6 is in millions – would a full line ever be completed if costs spiral, or would it run out of steam and turn this dream into a nightmare burdening future generations to come with debt for years?
ALAN LANGLEY Middlewich
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