These journey time reductions would be hugely welcomed by passengers in these areas. It's taken years and years of painstaking research and expensive consultancy to get to this stage, and even now it's uncertain that route 2b will ever get built. I do wonder what has motivated these individuals to undermine a scheme which has been thought out at length and offers something for huge swathes of the country. What breathtaking arrogance. What astonishing disregard for the people who would benefit from the amazing journey time reductions between Birmingham to Sheffield, Leeds, Derby, Nottingham, Newcastle and beyond. Manchester is already going to benefit hugely from HS2. The benefits of HS2 need to be shared out across the country. It would be disasterous if Manchester was allowed to suck up even more of the money so that other cities in other parts of the country don't get anything at all. That's just plain selfish, and would build up terrible resentment of people elsewhere. The authors of this paper may have won some new friends in Manchester, but they have surely tarnished their reputations in many other parts of the country.