Ongoing love affair with HS2 is perplexing - YEP letters

This YEP reader thinks politicians are missing the point by focusing on HS2 and faster links to London when they should instead be prioritising local networks. Do you agree?

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 6:00 am
The HS2 eastern spur is intended to link Leeds to Birmingham and London. Picture: HS2/PA Wire.

James Bovington, of Horsforth, writes:

HS2 is never out of the news and I remain perplexed by the ongoing love affair so many politicians of all hues have with it when they could be promoting the development of the local rail network which requires more stations, full electrification, re-openings (eg. Cross Gates to Thorner) and the supreme prize of all rail tunnels under the centre of Leeds and Bradford with underground stations at key locations. A tunnel which could also be used by battery-powered light rail vehicles.

Such systems already operate on Merseyside, Tyneside and in Glasgow, the latter having 61 stations in its area, a municipal underground and two cross city rail tunnels with massive expansion planned. ‘Westlink’ under construction in Gothenburg is an excellent example of the sort of scheme that Leeds needs.

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West Yorkshire lags way behind London in terms of its transport infrastructure but this relates more to the rail network WITHIN the capital not between it and major cities.

There is scope for improvement to the East Coast Main Line but this offers an excellent service through Wakefield and full electrification of the Midland Mainline via Sheffield without the duplication of the eastern leg of HS2 would bring major benefits.

My vote would be for investing in a full Metro ‘CrossRail’ for West Yorkshire used daily by hundreds of thousands rather than HS2 – an environmentally damaging project and the preserve of the few irrespective of which end of HS2 is best built first.

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