The rationale behind the current HS2 plan is unarguable: capacity is rapidly running out; we need a brand-new railway line; any new line will be horrendously expensive; spending tens of billions and not getting a modern high-speed service would be idiotic; any new line needs to avoid towns to be economic and be very straight with no sharp bends to be high speed. The proposed HS2 route is therefore pretty much a given. Admittedly it makes poor copy to just agree with the Government, but in this case the current HS2 plan is the only real option.
The idea is to separate the long-distance trains from the slow local ones which, theoretically, can now be made more frequent and reliable. A kind of heart bypass if you will. Tinkering with existing lines won't do.
Gatwick Express barriers
You reported that Gatwick Express was ending payment on the train. It is now a fortress. While the authorities are doing all they can to make travel easier and more pleasant in the run-up to the Olympics, this ridiculous train company has, at a stroke, made passengers' lives more difficult and unpleasant.
You appear to have missed the Channel Islands. At low tide, the rocky sea bed to the south of Jersey is lunar in appearance, and guided tours are made to the Seymour Tower – known as "the moon walk". Also, Sark has become the first island to be given Dark Sky status.
Two sides of Tunisair
Granted, Tunisia's national airline is not without its faults ("Tunisair puts a spanner in the works", 8 January). But on the upside, holidays packaged with Tunisair fares from Heathrow are very good value. Plus, you get 20kg baggage allowance, a hot meal and free golf club carriage included as standard.
Tunisia First (tour operator)
Lyse Doucet's Life in Travel
The song referred to is "All the diamonds in the world" by Bruce Cockburn, not Bruce Springsteen. It's a pity that this highly talented but underrated singer didn't get a deserved name check.
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