No point in a high-speed rail link if everything else is still slow

The Rev Canon Bob White with representatives of the groups involved in our Christmas campaignh run with churches in Portsmouth - Comfort and Joy

NEWS COMMENT: Dig deep and help to spread some comfort this Christmas

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Plans for a high-speed HS3 rail link in the north of England have moved a step closer. But amongst all the questions that are being asked about cost and the speed of the trains and everything else, one question never seems to get answered – will we be getting faster replacement bus services for when the new high-speed trains break down?

At the moment the rail replacement buses go really slowly. So with the onset of high-speed rail, will we also be getting some really high-speed buses where the driver can go at about 70 miles an hour, or will they just be the rickety old 20 mile-an-hour replacement buses that we usually get?

And will there be a high-speed trolley service on board these trains, or will the trollies just get trundled down the aisle in the same slow way they usually are, blocking everyone’s passage?

We need to know, because there’s no point in having a high-speed rail link if everything else about it is still slow.

n New research has found that nine out of 10 new cars are now sold without a full-size spare wheel as standard.

But there’s one more thing I reckon new cars should be sold with – a ‘new car smell’ air freshener!

Everyone loves that new car smell, but it soon disappears. So why don’t they give us an air freshener with that new car smell so we can dangle it from the dashboard?

I reckon people would love to have that smell all the time, even if their vehicles are getting on a bit.

n Quick, someone get me the Dragons’ Den office phone number.

I’ve got a new definition of being grown-up. Basically, being grown-up is when you start eating crisps at home out of a bowl rather than directly out of the packet. If you’ve started doing this, you may as well realise you’re a grown-up now. You can’t do childish things any more.

Your childhood is officially

over.