THE government is tied up with Brexit, and in the meantime a huge white elephant is lumbering along, destroying the countryside and the livelihoods, houses and industrial premises on the way.

The cost is going through the roof, and it would appear that the only people in favour of it are a smattering of MPs and the people engaged with building the thing.

Of course, I am talking of HS2.

Speaking to people and reading reports I think this project is very likely to be scrapped, but not before a huge cost has been incurred.

Let’s look at the last example of a previous railway white elephant.

The decision to design and build an APT or Advanced Passenger Train was made in January 1969.

The idea of a train that could travel at 160mph on British railways with its many curves was attractive, and work started.

It was beset with problems and was constantly going over-budget.

By 1980 the APT team was disbanded leaving onward work for other agencies, at this time the project had been running for 10 years with no train yet in service.

Pressure came from all sides, and eventually, the government demanded that this ‘money pit’ be put into service, despite the ongoing problems.

On December 7, 1981, the press were invited to ride on the train from Glasgow to London during which a record of four hours, 15 minutes was set.

The press was not interested.

They were too busy enduring a sensation similar to seasickness as the train rolled around the bends giving it the nickname ‘Queasy Rider’.

By 1985/6 the APTs were withdrawn, broken up or sent to museums. But the cost was £47million down the drain.

Now Italian built Pendolinos and BR Built InterCity 225s, built from 1988 with a DVT or Driving Van Trailer at the other end predominate on the privatised lines.

As for the current white elephant, apart from the damage its building is causing, it will be overtaken by static technology before it is put into service. It needs the plug pulling before it goes too far and the money saved spending on rail infrastructure.

Paul Hurley Winsford