With overcrowding on the railways back in the news, I went to see how close our bit of the West Coast Main Line is to being “full”. Theresa Villiers, the Minister of Transport, has said we’ll get to that unhappy state in 2017, but she’s no plans to do anything about it until High Speed 2 opens for business some 10 years later.
Having stood by the line for most of a morning peak period, I can reveal just eight trains went in the London direction per hour, with a total of 53 carriages. Pardon me, but a typical Hornby layout is busier! More trains and more carriages could lift capacity by 150 per cent. A fraction of this would ease conditions of today’s travellers.
The major passenger growth is predicted between Euston and Birmingham International, and these stations can accept longer platforms for trains twice the length of the current Pendolinos. No significant changes to the track would be needed, but for easier flow, some extra through-lines at intermediate stations would prevent expresses being held up by stopping trains.
Sir Richard Branson has indicated he can bring the Birmingham to London time down to an hour by relatively simple improvements, so one really has to wonder why the Government is proposing to spend £30 billion on the first section of HS2, and in the process, make travellers wait 17 years for any improvement.
Richard Lloyd, chairman
Heart of England High Speed Railway Action Group ( www.hhag.org.uk )
Better for us all
MR H T Harvey is intent on putting down Mr Richard Lloyd every time the latter puts pen to paper on HS2. Are they past foes?
HTH believes Balsall Common to be an unspoilt idyllic location unaffected by the rigours of life. He is mistaken, the fact is that Balsall Common suffers continually from planes, roads, trains and construction, to name but a few. The accusation that our residents are Nimbys is downright wrong.
A serious problem in this area is the airport runway extension which is to go ahead despite weak funds and a weak business case. It is supported by the CEO of BIA who has been heard to say that we must now have HS2, regardless of the cost, environmental destruction and lives destroyed. We must have that second London he shouts. Incidentally, only last week he freely stated:
“If the market continues to bump along the bottom then it may not sustain the business case for the runway extension.”
Please support the HS2 opposition groups such as HHAG. In the end common sense has to prevail so that that empty bag, full of money, (if it is really full of money!) can be saved and used for ‘betterment of life’ people schemes that support and benefit the majority, not just the minority businessmen.
Peter Bray via e-mail
The road to ruin
IT is not sinful for RB Adams to admire a pretty woman (Letters), but it is for him to look at her lustfully. The first is to admire God’s handiwork, the second the wish to abuse and denigrate a person made in God’s image and abuse an act intended only to seal the love between husband and wife and bring children into the world.
It is no small thing to abuse this act of love intended only for husband and wife. It leads to infidelity and broken marriages, even murder. Broken marriages mean broken families, which mean broken young people who do not know the meaning of commitment, love and fidelity because the nearest people in their lives have not shown them what it means.
Broken families mean a broken society.
I would like to ask P Thomas this question: If good works are not essential for salvation, why does Christ tell us that He will judge us according to our good works and that if we have failed in this we will go to perdition: ‘... for I was hungry and you never gave me food....’ (Matthew 25: 31-46)?
Margaret Sealey via e-mail
Too many of us
WHAT A fantastic letter from R B Adams. As a non-believer myself I agreed with all he said, especially about the regular letters printed from P Thomas.
Over population is the cause of most of our troubles in the world today and will only get worse with larger families.
J M Greaves, Stonor Road, Hall Green
Lost the plot
AS I expected, P Thomas seems to have finally lost the plot (Letters, Nov 19). Apparently Christianity is not a religion and, if you’re a good person and do good things, it won’t get you into his imaginary heaven. I’m sure the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope will be surprised and amazed. But then, according to P Thomas, they’re not Christians they’re just religious leaders, so they’re probably not important in the scheme of things.
Steve Hall, Via e-mail