HS2: Not seeing the bigger picture

SO, NIGEL Wilson of Legal and General thinks HS2 should be scrapped in favour of a second Brighton Line? (RM October 2106)

I would expect the leader of the Conservative Group on Brighton Council to push for this, but if the head of one of the largest funders of infrastructure is unable to see the bigger picture this should set alarm bells ringing.

Perhaps more important than speeding up journeys, HS2 will free up capacity on the West Coast Main Line, linking London with Manchester, as well as other great cities, including Birmingham, Liverpool and Glasgow.

With no disrespect to Brighton, it is simply not in the same league, and busy as the Brighton line may be for commuters it is not the most important mixed traffic railway line in the country.

Mr Wilson’s view worries me, as apart from being naive, it represents yet another example of parochial London and South East thinking at the expense of everywhere else.

Instead of suggesting BML2, support a new line across the Pennines so that links are improved between Liverpool, Manchester, and more great cities of the North – such as Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle.

Geoff Willerton
Saddleworth, Oldham

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