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HS2 will probably cost £80bn by the time it is completed – but it could be stopped

09 March, 2017

• THE eminently sensible comments about HS2 of Martin Sheppard and Kate Fairhurst (Letters, March 2) surely must raise the entirely realistic potential to scrap it completely.

As we all suspected from the beginning, this was a scheme that was pushed through parliament in a manic fashion by various governments hell-bent on taking this behemoth, created on the back of a fag packet, forward, no matter what.

This, despite the fact that the “capacity” argument fails at the first hurdle (try catching a train from Euston to Birmingham and you will always get a seat); the technology of HS2 will be obsolete before it starts running and most ordinary citizens will be unable to afford the tickets.

The original premise for HS2 was speed and was changed quickly in 2013/4 to “capacity” when the government of the day was up against rational and well-informed opposition to the scheme. What has driven, and continues to drive, this scheme is money, but money that will pour into the silk-lined pockets of the construction companies and the property developers… Chinese and Russian investment in the Canary-Wharf-type “city” that will rise above the cuttings; a baby to be born out of the love affair that George Osborne had with the emerging Chinese economy back in 2010.

The north so badly requires a train service that joins it up horizontally; the whole country is desperately in need of a well-run existing train service, on time, economical and strike-free; £51billion would sort that out nicely, thank you.

In any event HS2 will probably cost more like £80billion by the time it is completed.

I say rise up and do something about this utter travesty. We, the people, surely should be able to stop this whole scheme.

Why is it “too late”? Nothing in this world, save for terminal illness and aging, is irreversible.

Someone, somewhere out there, must have the ability and finances to do this?

Delancey Street, NW1


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