A couple of weeks ago, we planned to go into Manchester for a meal.

It was a big deal as we were going to a fairly swish restaurant to finally use vouchers that had been given to us as a present.

Now my initial thought was we would go by train to avoid having to pay Manchester's horrendous parking charges and as it was only a couple of weeks before Christmas, it also meant we could dodge the festive traffic (and I could also have a drink with the meal, if truth be told.)

But of course, getting the train was a non-starter, as I quickly realised.

Thanks to the long-running dispute between the RMT union and Northern, there were hardly any trains from Warrington Central, and even if we could have got to Manchester, the strike action meant it would have been nigh on impossible to get back home.

So the car it was then.

It was a really frustrating experience but it did set me thinking.

I wonder if the people who live in the north of the country get the dirty end of the stick when it comes to rail services.

No such problems, it appears, in the south. It was only last month when a fresh bailout was announced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the Department for Transport (DfT), for the Crossrail project which includes loans of up to £2.05bn to London.

It means the final bill for Crossrail could reach £17.6bn, instead of the £14.8bn it was expected to cost as recently as June.

So while rail passengers in the north had (and still have to in some places) suffered the effects of the disastrous timetable fiasco, rubbish rolling stock, massive delays to the electrification process and ongoing weekly strikes, somehow down south they manage to find more than £2bn down the back of the sofa for London.

But if Crossrail is irritating, the HS2 shambles is a downright disgrace.

My attention was drawn to a news report that a major saving could be found in the cost of HS2 if Crewe gets five to seven trains an hour instead of the planned two.

The Government announced in March that it has given its backing to updated plans for the Crewe hub, which would support up to seven high-speed trains an hour.

Pete Waterman, chairman of the Cheshire and Warrington local transport body, has now revealed that this could lead to crucial savings for the HS2 project – which is estimated to cost £56 billion.

He said: “The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed we are going to re-look at the way we go north of Crewe.

“All the original work was done on the two trains an hour principal. If we go to five or seven trains an hour, it changes quite drastically the dynamic of what we do.

“We believe that there could be a major saving – and I mean major – by changing the way we go out of Crewe.”

Well Mr Waterman, I have another cost saving plan – scrap HS2 completely.

And here are five reasons why HS2 should be scrapped now. My thanks to the Institute of Economic Affairs for this.

1. The costs are already astronomical and are expected to rise

2. The money could be better spent elsewhere (how about local transport solutions or better east-west rail links?)

3. The project is already years behind schedule (blighting the lives of those living on the proposed route) and is already behind the times thanks to the advancement of technology facilitating 'virtual' meetings

4. The project has little or no public support. In fact I would add there is a great deal of public antipathy towards it

5. HS2 is unlikely to 'transform the north' as promised. In fact, it is much more likely to suck the best talent from the north down to London.

The more you look at it, the more HS2 just looks like a costly vanity project.

Let's just cut our losses, spend the money where it's really needed and get on with our lives.