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Congratulations to Cllr. Braithwaite and his colleagues for challenging Norman Baker's unthinking commitment to HS2. Baker and his boss Philip Hammond refuse to engage in any dialogue about the alternative solutions to rail capacity needs.

A detailed plan, A better Railway for Britain ( ) shows how forseeable demand can be met by better management of existing lines and targeted investments to relieve pinch points, as recommended by the independent Eddingto Report in 2006 and reinforced by the McNulty Report this year. This is common sense, not 'tinkering' (note the 'smear' language typical of the HS2 supporters.)

High speed Rail was supposed to be part of the Government plans for a low-carbon economy. HS2 will increase carbon emissions by attracting most of its traffic from conventional rail (which is more energy efficient) and generating new traffic, if the business case is to be believed.

And to claim that HS2 has "taken great steps to deal with the Chilterns" is nonsense - ask the poeple who live there (like me)! What they have done is design the most expensive High Speed line in the world by trying to minimise the effect of driving an unnecessary line through an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Vincent Nolan


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