ALTHOUGH I am a great believer in the future of rail travel, the concept of HS2 has many unanswered questions. 

It is to be built using what is basically updated Victorian technology, ie. steel wheels on steel rails, and yet modern technology is developing so fast that it may well be out of date even before it is completed. 

Who will use it? 

Working from home and virtual offices are surely the way of the future and fewer people will need to travel regularly, so will it become mainly a leisure and pleasure railway taking day trippers to London and beyond? 

It has yet to be proven that building another rail link to London will benefit the north more than the south east. 

Surely to create a so-called ‘northern powerhouse’ the obvious thing to do would be to firstly join the northern towns and cities together, from Liverpool through Manchester and Leeds to the north east, because the cross-country links are so poor compared with the already excellent north-south corridor. 

What of the other major UK cities not on the route? 

Will places such as Bristol, Norwich, Cardiff, Stoke, Nottingham, Carlisle, Tees-side and Tyne-side all be sidelined as a result? Will it still take twice as long for the 50 miles from Crewe to Derby as to travel 150 miles to London? 

And are there really multitudes of people living in London and the home counties waiting to move up to the north west? 

Are southern based companies wanting to move their warehouses and distribution centres away from the south and up to the midlands and north? 

If so, would it be because the cost of living is lower here, and could that possibly remain so as an outer suburb of London? 

Can it really boost the northern economy by making it easier to commute to London? 

If all this was to happen, what of South Cheshire? 

Are planners really hell-bent on turning it into commuter-land thus creating the new Milton Keynes? Could rural Cheshire survive? 

When we read of cut-backs in social services and social funding of cuts in the police force, cuts in nursing and a vastly underfunded NHS, of an education system badly in need of more money, of precious little money to care for the elderly, of austerity measures to last for the foreseeable future, yet untold billions of pounds to be spent on this one new line, there is no wonder that this scheme will be unpopular. 

Value for money? 

I have serious doubts.

David Ketley