Readers' letters - May 30

What do you think of the HS2? Should the money be spent elsewhere?
What do you think of the HS2? Should the money be spent elsewhere?

Spend £55.7bn on NHS –not on this expensive white elephant

At a mind-blowing £55.7bn, the project which nobody except the Establishment wants is the biggest-ever infrastructure project in Britain – and the total is already forecast to rise!
The Establishment is determined to force this white elephant upon us because, as has been proved from similar projects in Paris and Tokyo, the outcome is nothing to do with a 20-minute shorter journey, but will effectively draw talent, enterprise and new businesses from the regions to the capital.
If only the public were allowed a say about this, or even to express an opinion which would influence the Establishment – because if all that vast amount of borrowing is to be undertaken, then how much better to spend it on the National Health Service – to the benefit of the whole country!
The award of an initial, exploratory contract of £1.4bn to Carillion shortly before that company collapsed is an excellent opportunity to cancel the whole madness.
Arthur Quarmby
via email

Go extra mile for Diabetes UK

Diabetes UK is urging people to go the extra mile on Sunday, September 9, by taking part in this year’s Simply Health Great North Run for the charity.
We are asking those who have secured a place in the Great North Run ballot to consider running for us and support our work towards a world where diabetes can do no harm.
Officially the world’s biggest half marathon, the race sees thousands of runners take on the 13.1 mile route. There are views of some of the North East’s most iconic landmarks – including the Tyne Bridge and The Sage –along the route which takes runners from Newcastle City Centre to the coast in South Shields.
Diabetes is a serious condition that, if not properly managed, can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and amputation.
Every day, around 700 people are diagnosed with diabetes, so every mile you run and every pound you raise for Diabetes UK will help us realise a world where diabetes can do no harm.
All Diabetes UK runners receive a branded vest, crazy hair, a fundraising toolkit, online support and training tips.
They will also be cheered on by Diabetes UK supporters along the route, giving them an extra boost towards the finish line.
If you would like to run, please call 0345 123 2399 or email events.fundraising@diabetes.org.uk.
Stephen Ryan
Head of the North
Diabetes UK

Boost public transport

Isn’t the main cause of road congestion the sheer number of vehicles on them these days? You can build more roads to take the extra traffic, but this isn’t possible in town centres, where there just isn’t the room. So really, we do need to look at boosting public transport so people can realistically leave their cars in the garage.
Tim Mickleburgh
Address supplied

Cans that can’t be opened

What has happened to our canned food? Trying to open cans is very frustrating. I have two new butterfly openers, and a battery one.
I am finding it impossible to open most of the cans, ending up cutting the stubborn bits with heavy scissors, which can be quite dangerous. Surely it is not through my inability, and the cause must be in the manufacture of the cans?
Elizabeth Stephens
Address supplied

Paul Simon’s superb songs

I heard a half hour radio interview with Paul Simon, still writing superb songs over 40 years since such classic hits as Bridge Over Troubled Water and Homeward Bound (written on Widnes railway station platform). How did Bob Dylan’s over-long maunderings lead to his being chosen to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature?
Michael J Robinson
via email