Daily misery for rail commuters

CAN I ask Northern Rail/West Yorkshire Metro if they are aware we are living in the United Kingdom in the year 2010?

I, like many other unlucky souls, am forced to subject myself to the lottery that is the current service between Woodlesford and Leeds each morning.

We wait, huddled on the platform in sub-zero temperatures, wondering if today we will be lucky and a train will appear.

Occasionally we are given cause to rejoice, for a train will materialise within 10 minutes of the scheduled departure time. The train may even be two whole carriages long.

More often than not however, the trains do not arrive.

There are hardly any announcements, and even less apologies for the chronic lack of service provided.

This morning, my journey to work from Woodlesford to Bradford took an eye watering three hours, after I abandoned my forlorn and futile wait for a train and joined the already overcrowded roads.

If Leeds City Council expects this train service to accommodate more commuters following the closure of the city centre car parks, can I suggest they begin researching the health and safety implications of allowing passengers to sit on the roof, and hang off the sides of the carriages?

I look forward to the seasonal greetings heading my way from Northern Rail, when they review their prices in January. Happy New Year to you too!

James Lynch, Woodlesford, Leeds

So much for pulling together

ON READING the Yorkshire Evening Post re winter gritting, I read the article about all the public pulling together and helping out.

Being an ex-council worker myself for 40 years, now retired, I decided to go to the council department for some salt and sand to spread on the footpath in the cul-de-sac where I live.

Our cul-de-sac is on a hill which makes it very difficult to walk on the paths and to see a gritter is like seeing a polar bear in Benidorm.

I asked the person in charge if I could have a bit of grit and sand, explaining the situation. He told me no way could he let me have any as he has strict instructions not to let anybody have any.

Am I and all the ratepayers in Leeds supposed to go to B&Q or garden centres to buy our salt and sand out of our own wages or pensions? Is that what they mean by working together?

This letter has no reflection on the hard-working workforce in the bad conditions, it is aimed at the management and, before I get the reply that there are grit bins dotted about for such emergencies, these bins are emptied nearly as soon as they are filled, which, if you are lucky, is a couple of times in a winter period.

I will say, as a result of my complaint, a gritter was sent the same afternoon for the road but that will not alter the state of the footpaths.

Just thought I would try and do my part, but of pulling together. I hope someone else will have more luck over the next three months or so.

Think I will ring my councillor and see what joke he can offer me.

J CHEETHAM, Leeds 10

Could binmen help grit teams?

I, AS I am sure thousands of other residents of Leeds, must be sick to the back teeth of our refuse collection over the past year. Please can anybody tell me, if the bin men cannot get out to collect the refuse because of the snow, what are they doing then?

Can they not help the gritting team to clear some of the estates?

The gritting team have done a good job in keeping the main routes moving, but you have to get to them first, and that is why businesses, schools etc. grind to a halt.

I also could do with an answer to this question: community payback team...do they only work in good, warm, dry weather?

I fear a health and safety issue may be on the cards!

Whatever the cost implication is, I feel it cannot be as much as it costs the NHS for putting us all back together again.

Well done the NHS for keeping going in extreme circumstances.

Bev Brewis, Armley

Confusion reigns

YOU MAY be interested to know, Ed, that on Rodley Lane, Bramley brown bins were emptied as usual.

Also the black ones, even though Councillor Murray advised of a day change.

Confusion still reigns, as how will we know what to do next week with the black one or the green one when its day – once a month – falls due?

Maybe put them out on both Wednesday and Friday.

DS BOYES, Leeds

Disgusted by snow louts

I WOULD like to bring to light an incident over the weekend.

My wife and I were waiting for a No.4 bus on Pudsey Road, near the Gamecock pub, when a small group of youths appeared and started throwing missles at the bus.

It was awful.

We were told that the same youths were local and well-known to the police and public. I now know that they allegedly terrorise the people in nearby houses.

I suggest that if they have nothing better to do, they should get to hell out of it, or help in the community by snow-clearing or likewise. Make them do something worthwhile or have their money stopped. They are a disgrace to society. If these louts are our citizens of the future then God help us.

D Grant, Bramley

Such honesty

WHILST shopping in Leeds on December 6, I bought a Big Issue from a young man stationed outside the Marks & Spencer store in Briggate.

I then walked into the store, and seconds later, the young man called after me, holding up my purse which I had no idea I'd dropped. There was money and other valuables in it, and I was greatly appreciative to him.

Later, on reflection, it struck me how marvellous it was for a person who is having a difficult time in life, (for whatever reason), showed such honesty and integrity...attributes all too rare in today's world.

Kathleen Wilton, by email

Golden age of making do

RE your letter 'Top sock tip' (YEP, December 3), stating a team of researchers in New Zealand found that wearing socks over shoes in winter makes it easier to grip.

Well, my mum must have been a genius. I am 75 years old now and, during my school life and before, my mum put socks over our shoes and indeed it is a very good idea.

Old socks were never thrown away, but then again, in those days we didn't discard and buy new.

As far back as I can remember, pans were repaired with washers; any beyond repair, someone would collect to go for munitions or people could take them to the Buttercross in Pontefract, the town we lived in at that time.

Woollens, when getting worse for wear, would be pulled out and re-knitted into other garments – I remember always wearing pixie hoods and scarves.

Most people knitted and lots made clipped rugs from old clothing cut up and threaded through a canvas, sometimes an old piece of sacking.

In my mum's spare time – what she had with four children – you could always see her pricking a rug and when it was finished we had great fun trying to be the first one on it.

MAUREEN BEDDOW, Horsforth

No forgiveness for Thatcherites

I'D JUST like to correct a Mr C Clarkson from Castleford, whose letter called me a 'Mr J Wilson', when, in fact, I am a Mrs J Wilson if you please, just a lass from Leeds.

I think you've got me wrong, Mr Clarkson, I despise nearly all these freeloaders in Parliament – rip-off merchants the lot of 'em.

These Right Honourables is a joke. Perhaps I'm being a little unfair, there are still a few left in the Labour Party, thank goodness, but the sons of Thatcher never, never, never, after what her and her nasty cronies did to this country, I'd never forgive those clowns.

Just look what they've done to the young people hoping to go to university, it's an outrage.

Who in hell has got 9,000 to pay for an education today?

Not the real people of this country; it's all the multi-millionaires, the greedy, money-worshipping Thatcherites.

Just because these sons of Thatcher were educated at Eton, doesn't mean they are clever.

J WILSON, Leeds 10

Labour's missed opportunity

J Wilson asks in YEP Letters (November 30) 'Do we need more peers'? No, we do not. One of New Labour's mistakes was its failure to fully reform the unelected House of Lords.

Now we have a Con-Dem government seeking to reduce the number of elected members of Parliament and at the same time appointing their supporters to an unelected 'Chamber of Pomp and Priviledge'.

J Appleyard, Liversedge

Full speed ahead to Brum

ON the forthcoming high-speed rail line to Leeds – I bet that the great majority of this city could not see the branch to Manchester and the one to Leeds arriving at these destinations at the same time.

Therefore, since Birmingham is much nearer to London, the first line to go in should be that to Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds.

It is inconceivable that two teams would be available, in this cash-strapped country, to labour on the Y-route together. Yes? Hence my favoured solution.

Terry, Bardsey

Bernard Kenny, the man who tried to save Jo Cox from her attacker.

YEP Letters: August 16