I am writing in response to Donald Goodwin’s letter (Express May 23) on HS2.
Mr Goodwin’s letter reached my office in the week of 5 May and a formal response was sent on May 23, the day his letter appeared in the paper. I aim to respond to constituents within 14 days and, in this case, there was a slight delay for which I can only apologise.
Open dialogue with local people is vital to my work as an MP and I send thousands of letters every year and run regular surgeries which are open to all. I and my hardworking staff deal with dozens of difficult cases each week, sometimes from people facing action from bailiffs, eviction or severe poverty from Jobcentre sanctions which we prioritise over issue-based casework.
I and the Labour Party support HS2 as it is the only way to address the serious capacity constraints and overcrowding on our rail network. The new high speed trains will free up commuter capacity on the East Coast mainline so that passengers do not have to endure cramped journeys into Leeds, Nottingham, Sheffield, Birmingham and London.
The line will connect our great cities better to each other and to London and provide a big economic boost to West Yorkshire.
It is vital that we plan to improve our local and regional transport links lines to maximise the benefits from HS2 and that we prepare our businesses and young people to benefit from the construction and design skills needed to build it.
Mr Goodwin points out the problems on local rail services and on the M1. I will continue to work with Network Rail and train operators to reduce overcrowding, tackle rising fares and improve passenger experience.
As Wakefield’s MP I have helped secure a transformative investment in both Westgate and a huge regeneration of Kirkgate station, working with partners over several years.
I will be outside the school gates of St Mary’s school near Kirkgate this Friday chatting to local people about the changes planned for the area.
Mary Creagh MP