Dear Editor, We are now officially told that HS2 will become an embarrassing loss-maker, but could we not also build it as the spine of an international transport corridor for industry and commerce, with consequent possibilities of profit?
Re-routing the HS2 service to London via a stop at Heathrow would allow trains to enter the Capital via the Cross Rail line, cutting billions off the capital cost by removing the most expensive part of the proposed line construction .
Putting Birmingham Airport within 40 minutes of Heathrow would allow some effective hub transfers, and also assist many business people from the Midlands and the North to reach Heathrow directly in an efficient way.
This line from the North to Heathrow could be later extended onwards to Gatwick and the Channel Tunnel, thereby opening up a direct rail/air corridor to both Europe and the rest of the world.
Putting Gatwick within 20 minutes of Heathrow should provide viable air hub options, removing the need for the third Heathrow runway and the extra 50 planes per hour flying in and out over West London, which the professional air heads apparently consider to be desirable.
The M25 motorway has successfully removed the need for long distance road traffic to pass through central London.
Now is the ideal time to plan the inevitable high speed line which will enable long distance rail passengers to bypass London in the same way.
London could probably survive without all the rail travellers who are planned to arrive and depart without stopping, and many of them would certainly prefer to avoid the hassle of changing trains in London, if only they were given the choice.
Maybe “London First” is a catchy slogan, but does it really need to be followed by: “And UK Last”?
David M Bates, Dudley