I HAVE been listening with increasing frustration to the presentation of HS2 simply as a way of Midlanders getting to London a bit quicker.
This seems to be the position, whether the reports are by the national radio and TV media or national papers. I have not heard any references to the direct link to HSI via the Chalk Farm tunnel mentioned at all, nor the potential for direct trains from Birmingham to Paris and Brussels, with links to the TGV and Thalis high speed networks.
Similarly there will be the potential for direct international trains from as far north as Scotland.
I am very concerned that a partial picture is being presented to the public and the wider picture needs to be presented, including those northern extensions, so that the project is not killed off by objections from a small number of property owners who will suffer the direct effects.
Incidentally, I live in Balsall Common and will be in earshot of HS2, albeit at a distance. I also use Eurostar now for regular business visits to Brussels in preference to the modern torture of air travel.
I would ask the Solihull News to help to present the fuller, more balanced case for HS2.
Tom Waterer, Balsall common
Solihull Council were absolutely correct in giving their backing to HS2; they realise the massive benefits the project will bring to the borough and to the nation as a whole.
With HS2 Interchange station just 15 minutes from Solihull it realises most local businesses support the project whilst seeking guarantees for local ratepayers adversely affected by any large project.
There can be no doubt the private sector will jump at the development opportunities. Once a decision is made the private sector in some form will undoubtedly come forward with funding.
HS2 will also be part of the TENs network and will have access to EU funding. The sums are large but many European HSR projects have had little difficulty with finding such funding.
Lets stop the talking and get on with building HS2. Every day that passes without HS2 is another day did not waste that Solihull nor the nation can afford.
H. T. Harvey, B91
THE public consultation on HS2 is about to close, and anyone with an interest should visit www.hhag.org.uk.
The argument against HS2 is simply that there are far better ways of spending the money. Conservative MP, Mark Field, has put railway costs into perspective. Every mile in a car pays 4p to the Treasury, while every train passenger-mile is subsidised by 16p. 91 per cent of passenger-miles in the UK are by road, eight per cent by rail, and one per cent by air.
But that isn’t an anti-rail argument. If HS2 goes ahead, the ‘old’ railways will be less used, more costly, and without investment - yet those are the trains serving the bulk of the population. £30 billion on HS2 is the wrong priority.
Last week, Solihull Council decided to continue supporting HS2 ‘in principle’, but added the word ‘conditional’. The penny has finally dropped about the local impact. The Council is urging further studies and mitigation, but the real action will be behind the scenes.
The Government has put zero value on rural jobs, local amenity, landscape, and the environment. HHAG believes the route is so badly planned at six locations in the borough that it’s a non-starter.
The impact of the planned station in the Meriden Gap is hard to grasp. Twenty acres of green space will go to provide 3,300 office jobs, 600 hotel beds, and shops.
Let’s hope Solihull Council can get talking to the right people quickly. The speed and capacity of HS2 should be brought in line with real needs, not political vanity.
Richard Lloyd, chairman, Heart of England High Speed Railway Action Group (www.hhag.org.uk)
A fine to do
ON Thursday last on the corner of Poplar Road/Station Road a community PC man was stopping cars and I believe booking them for using that part of the highway which is restricted to cars.
I would have thought it would have been a better use of the PCSO to have been at the point of entry stopping the vehicals from breaking the law - there again if they did that I suppose that would be no cash coming in.
J Smith via e-mail
when will Europe learn, Greece can’t pay its way in the Euro, and it must be allowed to default and return to the drachma, if we don’t wake up and realise that there are some nations that are too poor to be in the Euro, and that their membership in the Eurozone is dragging down the whole economic stability of the world, and even though Britain isn’t a member of the Euro we still have billions tied up in loans.
If Ireland follows Greece then its our money the government’s risking, and the bill will be passed onto us.
ST Vaughan, Glastonbury Road, Yardley Wood
ON behalf of the Solihull Branch of Parkinson’s UK I would like to say a big thank you to the very kind people of Shirley and Knowle who generously gave £602 to our collection on Saturday, June 18. The money will be spent very wisely to help and support those who live with Parkinson’s and their carers.
Hazel Froggatt, Solihull Branch Parkinson’s UK
THE Solihull and District branch of the MS Society would like to thank everyone who kindly donated to the street collection on 16 July 2011.
Despite the atrocious weather, the magnificent sum of £1,218.04 was raised and will be used to provide grants for respite care and equipment as well as small items of exercise equipment to be used at our Monday afternoon meetings.
My personal thanks to everyone who donated at Dovehouse Parade.
Sandra Hoskin, secretary