SCOTTISH taxpayers must be wondering why they are paying the equivalent of £2000 per head for a high-speed rail track that goes as far north as Leeds ("High-speed trains to be hit by Scots delay", The Herald, January 29).
The London Government has pinned its hopes on HS2 which it believes can help grow the economy and bring wealth to other areas outwith the south-east of England. Disappointingly, its plans do not include Scotland.
For those who think we are better off remaining part of the UK, this is a great example of the way the London-centric UK thinks about the rest of us. As far as they are concerned, we can wait longer than any other part of the UK, and by their own reasoning, our economic development can be put on hold. In the meantime, we will be paying up front.
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To date the UK has no HS2 plan or guarantees for Scotland. No wonder the Scottish Government, local councils and the business community are demanding that HS2 is delivered in Scotland sooner rather than later.
38 Pitbauchlie Bank,
THE Coalition Government has announced a major improvement to rail services between London and Scotland. Journey times from London to Glasgow and Edinburgh will be cut to 3 hours, 38 minutes. The estimated benefit to the Scottish economy is £3 billion.
I was very disappointed to read the attacks on this major investment as insufficient. Critics should realise that these attacks simply encourage those Tory MPs who are out to scupper high-speed rail.
The announcement will extend the high-speed line from London as far as Manchester and Leeds, and the Westminster Government wants to see the line further extended to Glasgow and Edinburgh, cutting journey time to London to three hours. However, it's important to remember that whether the work on the high-speed line starts in Scotland or at London, the reduction in journey time between London and Scotland produced by each mile of new track is exactly the same.
There are two threats to a high-speed rail link between Scotland and London. One is Tory MPs who do not want to see the line going through their constituencies. The second is a Yes vote in next year's independence referendum. Let us welcome the investment in high-speed rail announced so far and campaign for more, but do not dismiss a £3 billion boost for the Scottish economy as marginal.
Alan Reid MP,
Liberal Democrat Transport spokesman,
95 Alexandra Parade, Dunoon.
I ENJOYED a walk with friends on a beautiful October day round the village of Waddesdon in Oxfordshire. A fellow walker discussed the plans for HS2, confirmed by our Westminster Government. The same walker was not in favour of Scottish independence. I can see why. Better to keep hold of Scotland, and benefit from the vast taxation revenues generated by her whisky and oil. And, while you're at it, let us completely ignore her when it comes plans for a high-speed railway, costing in excess of £30 billion. Perhaps some Scots will be too daft to notice the rank injustice. Union dividend? You bet. England is revelling in it.
I sympathise greatly with my walking companion whose truly beautiful rural English countryside will eventually be destroyed to let fast trains hurtle through, just to get folk into London more quickly – because, make no mistake, that's what it is really all about. But I wonder if my walking companion spares any thought for Scotland. I doubt it.
3 Canniesburn Road,