Rail solution is increase capacity

IT IS clear that the problem with travel from London or Heathrow to Birmingham is capacity and not speed.

Much could be achieved with longer trains and longer platforms.

Having travelled frequently to Birmingham Moor Street from Marylebone, I have noticed spare width capacity along much of the line, and also abandoned track removed and stacked within the line’s curtilage.

Any extra capacity should use existing transport corridors such as this and even alongside other rail lines, or abandoned lines, motorway or A roads, canals etc to minimise cost, build time and disruption.

Also it could be feasible to link the Great Western and Chiltern lines to provide a direct link to Birmingham and further north as well as Heathrow, where appropriate.

HS1 is overpriced and losing money, so why should we expect HS2 to be any different. The travelling public vote with their wallets in the case of HS1 to use the slower, cheaper option?

When the cheapest, quickest, easiest options are ignored, it makes me wonder what vested interests stand to gain from the current proposals. Conservative, Labour and LibDem politicians (nationally) are in favour of the proposals, and the only major party opposed to it is UKIP.

People who say they are in favour should consider how much they would have to pay in fares, and thus whether they would actually use HS2.


New Peachey Lane


Potential risk from fireworks on people

THE letter from Richard Moore of Dogs Trust (Ease your pet’s fear of pops and bangs, Gazette, October 31) stated that 72 per cent of pet dogs are frightened of fireworks.

As well as causing distress for pets, there are also health risks from fireworks.

The British Lung Foundation said that Firework Night and the next day are the peak days for asthma and hospital admissions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Fireworks pollute the air with toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, aluminium, cadmium and radioactive barium. Some of these are used to give fireworks their colours. Smoke from fireworks consists of fine, toxic dusts that can enter the lungs and is a concern for people with breathing problems.

Work should be done on producing fireworks which are less harmful to health and the environment and there should be lower limits on the volume of the bangs allowed.


Beware if cutting up old blue badge

I have just renewed my son’s blue badge, for which I had to fill in forms and send proof of entitlement, birth certificate etc – not like before, when a trip to the Civic Centre was necessary to renew.

This will help to stop fraudulent use of badges but beware: on receipt of the new badge, a letter asks you to cut your old badge in half and return it to the Civic Centre.

I was just going to do this when I noticed that the new badges have a ‘valid from’ date as well an expiry date. The old badges just have an expiry date.

The new badge arrived on October 23, but the old one expires on November 30. Had I sent the old one off, I would have had no badge to use until the new one started on December 1 – and maybe a parking ticket.

It also seems a shame that the photo of the user is on the back and not the front of the badge – this would help to stop misuse.


Standale Grove, Ruislip

Free course to discover yourself

THANKS to Hillingdon Community Trust, we can offer our self-esteem course three times in 2013.

The next will start in January 2013, for women only aged 18 and over who live in the trust postcode areas: UB3, UB4, UB7, UB8 and UB2 5LX/5LU.

The free, 10-week course enables you to get to know yourself a bit better, discover hidden qualities about yourself and hidden skills, learn to take care of yourself, address negative self-image and raise your self-esteem.

It also helps with practical matters, such as what needs to go into your CV, and how to produce it on a computer.

Come along and make new friends.

Please call Jill on 01895 259 578 or email hillingdonwomen@aol.com to book a place or for further information. Please note there is no childcare provided.


Manager, Hillingdon Women’s Centre

Long Lane, Hillingdon

Are you missing lovely Stanley?

MANY months ago, a note that was put through the door said: ‘Have you seen a white cat called Stanley?’

After I had put the note in the bin, the white cat was in the garden.

Not liking cats, I couldn’t take him in. He wasn’t ‘chipped’ but I didn’t want him to die.

Every morning he is at my back door for his Whiskas.

He’s a lovely cat, and I wonder if Stanley’s mum and dad are still looking for him and hoping he will come home.


Larch Crescent, Hayes

? If Stanley is yours, or you know who he belongs to, please call the newsdesk on 01895 451036.