I would like to suggest an alternative to the HS2 and so avoid churning up the lovely countryside from here to the north of England.

There exists a railway infrastructure built many years ago, which goes from London to the Midlands, but has never been used. To bring this into use would be far cheaper than spending £50 billion on a new railway, and avoid destroying villages, farms, forests, and creating chaos for many roads with thousands of lorries being used by the contractors.

As I said in my previous letter last year, we gave away an invention by our Professor Laithwaite, namely the Maglev rail system, which runs on a single rail, has no wheels and travels on a cushion of air between the like poles of the magnets on the rail and the train.

So a smoother, quieter and faster journey, speeds of up to 400mph, cutting the time by an hour to Birmingham and the North, rather than the 20 minutes claimed by advocates of HS2.

Our prime minister travelled on a fully developed one in China last year. The Chinese, it is reported, are prepared to help fund our HS2 and probably try to get us to use their obsolescent trains, while they continue to build more of their Maglev trains.

My question is, does Mr Cameron want to leave a legacy of what will be an old-fashioned and comparatively slow railway in 12 years’ time, or a modern superior really high-speed railway in half the time and possibly half the cost? The money left over could then be used to upgrade our suburban railways. Derek Connelly, De Havilland Drive, Hazlemere