Readers' letters - July 26

Northern commuters won't benefit from white elephant

Wednesday, 26th July 2017, 5:53 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:15 pm

I was heartened to see Andy Burnham finally find his voice on the subject of local rail services, opposing the Government’s decision to drop electrification projects in the North and across the country, and rightly lambasting the announcement a few days later that money had been found for yet another project in London.

It’s high time all our politicians spoke out and challenged this London-centric government.

The problem is, Andy Burnham seems now to be studiously ignoring the white elephant in the room – HS2.

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Just days before sneaking out the news that rail projects outside London were being cancelled, the Government was more than happy to talk about the route for HS2. This £57bn line will be of no benefit to everyday rail passengers in Greater Manchester and elsewhere, who will continue cramming into clapped-out trains while well-paid executives afford the exorbitant fares to zip across the country. Sadly, Wigan Council is still cheerleading for the Tory Government on this issue and Andy Burnham has now gone quiet on the matter.

So let’s walk our politicians through this issue carefully: projects which benefit the North are being scrapped. Projects which benefit London are being supported.

HS2 is the flagship rail policy of this Government, and it’s going ahead. So who benefits from it? It doesn’t take any of our Mayor’s much-feted Cabinet-level experience to work out that it isn’t us!

Cancelling HS2 would allow those projects around the country, abandoned by the Tories, to go ahead, fund Crossrail 2 and have enough money left over to deliver a world class local rail network in Greater Manchester. By not picking up on this, our local representatives have made it all too easy for Whitehall to dismiss us once again. It’s time for our politicians to listen to some commuter-level experience, and join me in calling for an end to the HS2 nonsense.

Will Patterson

Chairman, Wigan and Leigh Green Party

Not a train for working classes

I am against this Tory Government on their ridiculous statement about going ahead with HS2.

They are not even considering the upheaval and the fact it’s going to upset a lot of people – people who have lived in their houses for years but will end up having them bulldozed. Not only that, it will ruin a lot of nice countryside, and a lot of wildlife will also be affected.

When the high-speed rail was first introduced by this Government, the cost was around £32bn, now it is at a ridiculous price of £55bn, and could even be more than £140bn.

It’s just for business people wishing to get to London quicker.

It’s not a train for working-class people.

It would be make more sense if the money was spent upgrading some of our old stock.

It would also create jobs for the unemployed.

Or, better still, put all the money into the health service. Nobody has stated yet what the fare will be, ridiculous I say.

John Wildie

via email

Cable’s ‘pearls

of wisdom’

Vince Cable seems to forget that the ‘overwhelmingly elderly’ people who voted

for Brexit were once the

far-sighted young people

of the 70s who voted to join the Common Market.

This was despite some of the ‘overwhelmingly elderly’ people claiming it was all a plot to create a United States of Europe with a single currency and a single parliament controlled by Germany and backed up by France.

Oh, how we laughed at them, we young people who knew better. Judging by Vince Cable’s pearls of wisdom, is it not time to have a by-election in Twickenham as the electorate clearly

didn’t understand who

they were voting for?

Harry Brooke

Address supplied

Paid more than Prime Minister

Never mind the so-called sexist issue, the real question is why do so many BBC employees get paid more than the Prime Minister? No wonder there is call for a replacement of the licence fee when this sort of thing happens.

Tim Mickleburgh

via email