The chief argument for constructing the Channel Tunnel Rail Link was that the ancient suburban lines serving an expanding metropolis in south east London could no longer safely accommodate long distance trains operating at attractive and economic speeds.
Now four people have died and the East Coast Main Line has been shut for three weeks because it was too heavily loaded to provide eight hours of possession time.
Clearly a new bypass route is needed for these overworked and now dangerous lines, built out of London from the Midland Mainline at Borehamwood. This would serve the East Coast route north of Hitchin, the Midland Line south of Leicester and the West Coast Main Line at Rugby with a potential extension to Crewe.
Up to twelve services an hour from London could use the service allowing a far better route over the classic lines and in faster time. Only by fresh construction can the potential of rail be safely fulfilled.
Canon Peter Stephens, The Rectory, Deopham Road, Morley, Wymondham, Norfolk NR18 9DA