Consultation is just lip service

I have a very different view to Jan Gillett about HS2 (Postbag, last week). I went to see the HS2 exhibition and it was very slick. I discovered that the railway will not directly affect me and will, probably, not affect my quality of life. Even the noise won’t be that bad for me; but then, I was told this by the proponents of the scheme. They would say that, wouldn’t they?

So, technically, I am not a nimby but I still don’t like the proposal; the whole scheme seems to me to be flawed. It is already costing us a lot and the bill is growing larger every day. I really don’t have any confidence in the predictions of the experts about the economic or ecological benefits; remember experts built the Titanic and the Ark was built by an amateur. We tax payers now pay more for the current privatised railways than when they were in public ownership so if HS2 is going to be such a money spinner, why aren’t private backers investing from the outset?

Judging from the experience of past government projects, HS2 will not be delivered on time or on budget so, in these times of extreme economic hardship, how can we afford a vanity project at the expense of our armed services, pensions, welfare and care for the elderly (I declare an interest here) for a project that only expense account travellers between major cities will be able to afford. As electronic communications continue to develop, how many business trips will be needed by the time HS2 is complete? I can’t see the need for a new rail system to speed our few exports to overseas markets.

So, taking everything into consideration, I decided to object to the proposal - that is until I saw Prime Minister’s Question Time on Wednesday June 22 when Mr Cameron seemed to confirm that HS2 will go ahead. So, according to him, it’s fait accompli time folks and we are are only paying lip service to democratic consultation and his much vaunted localism. - Steven Howe, Roxburgh Croft, Leamington.