Letter: Light at the end of the Channel tunnel or a disaster for the people of Kent?

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The Independent Online
Sir: Alastair Morton ('Now the pounds 640m cross-Channel question', 24 March) misses the whole point about us nitwits in Kent. We are not concerned whether the Channel tunnel rail link saves Eurotunnel's customers 15 minutes or 33 minutes. What we find hard to understand is why we should lose our homes and our countryside to save Eurotunnel's executive passengers any time at all.

Maybe the line will bring development to many parts of Kent, but those of us who live here would like to have been asked whether we wanted it. Consulting the people is an old-fashioned concept called democracy. It is quite nostalgic to remember that Britain once took a pride in this rather outmoded concept.

Sir Alastair is right, however, to call us nitwits.

When the Channel Tunnel Bill was before Parliament both the then Secretary of State for Transport (the late Lord Ridley) and British Rail promised that there would be no high-speed rail link.

Some of us country bumpkins were nitwitted enough to think they would keep their word.

Yours faithfully,

ROGER KNIGHT

Rector of Cuxton and Halling

Rochester, Kent

24 March

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