Sizing up city’s bus crowding problem

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I can understand that the cost of running buses today is very high to keep them running through the day, when they are needed in the main for “peak” times.

This is probably a two-hour period in the morning and two hours at tea time.

This is the period when the bus companies get their main revenue, leaving no option but to cut journeys through the major part of each day.

Isn’t it time that bus companies and cities had a look at re-designing the sizes of buses to cover that part of the day when they are also needed by their customers? Plus, of course, they could also look at changing from petrol/diesel to a form of battery type, that could be recharged simply and regularly because they will be on low-mileage journeys.

I know there are smaller buses that carry 28/30 passengers and the smaller car type that are too small for what is needed, which would be in the region of 16/20, running every 15 minutes.

I suspect that the bus companies look at the revenue they receive as a guide, instead of checking how many passengers are using the various routes in the periods they are not packed in the rush hours.

Looking at my own city, we may never get the money to spend on a tram or rail/tram system or in the longer term, on an underground that could solve the problem – even in my great-grandchildrens’ lifetime. This government should forget high-speed rail. We may have a very large population but we are a small size country. We don’t have the area like France/Germany/USA/China or any other very large country. They should look to spend the large amount of money available where it would benefit the larger amount of people that need to get around their local area, not the few businesses or otherwise that want to save 15/20/30 minutes on a journey. They are living in cloud cuckoo land if they think it’s going to help our businesses. We don’t have enough of them to make it pay, not now or in the next 10 to 15 years.

D Birch, Cookridge

City’s burden

I am sure we all welcome David Marsh’s piece on Leeds’s ambition to become the best UK city, as Coun Wakefield said. But let us not forget three great problems we face.

1. English local authorities receive less per head than those in Scotland and Wales.

2. The capital was always taken as much from the pot as its infrastructure requires. For example, it hasn’t lost a single railway line and is adding more all the time.

3. A problem that China, for example, does not have, is this – The EU dues we have to pay.

So let’s get rid of these problems and we can begin to play on a level field

Terry Allinson, Bardsey

Millionaires’ row

In the Cabinet there are 29 members who, combined, make decisions affecting us.

Twenty five of these members are millionaires. These people are on their own little planet. Knocking £100 off pensioners’ winter heating allowance, with gas, electricity, insurance and food shooting up, these people are helping to create more poverty than ever. One day the people of this country will revolt due to necessity.

J Shedlow, Fir Tree Vale, Leeds

What a nerve!

One can only marvel at the nerve of Michael Meadowcroft (YEP September 17) in presuming to instruct those in the Congo and Sudan on the subject of democracy.

This, for a party adherent whose leader, without a mandate and no regard for his manifesto, conspires with another in the running of our country.

All this within a system of election, representation and accountability, which would be at home in The Arabian Nights!

The sight of Bwana Meadowcroft emerging from the jungle fastness, clutching his Lib Dem manifesto, will be the stuff of native legend for many years.

Whatever next? John Prescott lecturing on Jane Austen to the Taliban perhaps?

P Kilroy, Spennithorne Avenue, Leeds

Waste not...

Re human waste building block of choice (YEP, September 21).

Your article did give a whole new meaning to man-made! The things we will do to go green. I wonder how long it would take to build your own house?

Gary Heaton, Crossgates Leeds

Too much footy

Is there any other part of the population whose interests are more grossly over catered for than the football fans?

On TV a game supposed to last 90 minutes is often given extra time, the pundits speculate endlessly beforehand as to what might happen, comment during the game and then hold a lengthy inquest afterwards on what actually did hapen. Any other programme in the TV schedule is often postponed or pushed aside indefinitely.

I was amazed when my local paper, in addition to its already extensive football coverage, actually saw fit to introduce a supplement, Back of the Net. Then, it introduces from time to time still more supplements! Where will it all end?

The only publications without football coverage will be Woman’s Weekly and the Flying Saucer Review.

T.Crawford, (Mr), by email

Union funding disappointment

I read with interest your article on the continued funding to unions, in which coverage of the recent debate on taxpayer subsidy of Trade Union staff was covered. I was extremely disappointed that my motion was rejected and the administration will continue to fund full-time union staff despite spending cuts throughout the city.

In general I would say that there is overall support for this policy among the people of Leeds, with many concerned that the administration is choosing to close vital local services while spending £417,000 funding full time union staff. The unions themselves are by no means strapped for cash. If they are able to continue to give hefty political donations they should certainly be able to take over the funding of these full-time members of staff themselves. The money required would barely impact on the millions they already donate to political funds, leaving the council to return these vital funds to local services that really need them.

I, along with the majority of Leeds citizens I’m sure, would much prefer to see the libraries, swimming pools, care homes, crisis centres and leisure centres threatened with closure saved rather than see the money used to provide these large contributions to subsidise Trade Union staff. Instead this administration are choosing to spend vital council resources on 15 full time members of union staff who only help the 50 per cent of council staff who are union members, not the citizens of Leeds.

Coun Alan Lamb, Conservative Group Spokesman for Children’s Services

Striking balance on benefits

Brian Johnson, (Letters, September 21) had some very good points about George Osborne and him trying to balance taxes between the rich and poor.

He states that “At the very bottom, the low-paid should be exempt from tax”. But that is exactly what the Liberal Democrats want to do, and rightly so. Brian Johnson also mentions the unpopular axing of pensioners free bus passes and winter fuel allowance.

I do agree that free bus passes for pensioners are unfair, when some pensioners that are healthy and wealthy enough to go shopping and socialising might use them daily, but others too infirm or not on a bus route.

All pensioners should be given a decent basic state pension, and not freebies that are good for some, but not others.

Brian Johnson is in favour of means testing, but that will only result in worsening the benefits culture that we have today.

So perhaps instead of giving freebies that are not the essentials of life, this Government should not subsidise travel or broadband, but make sure that the poor and everyone else gets free health care, dentistry and free school meals.

N Bywater, Airedale Terrace, Morley, Leeds

Gurkhas dismay

Decent people all over England must have recoiled in disgust at the repugnant treatment of our Gurkha soldiers and their families, targeted in a foulmouthed, Facebook hate campaign by a lorry driver in the south of England.

Added to this is the comment from Defence Minister, Gerald Howarth that retired Gurkhas must be treated like “asylum seekers”.

Of course Gerald Howarth should be sacked for his attitude and such unfavourable comments about the Gurkhas, whose bravery and service to our country are legendary.

I have no doubt that all decent Yorkshiremen and women would welcome our brave and loyal Gurkhas to share our Yorkshire homeland.

So bring the Gurkhas home to Yorkshire.

T Mason, Pontefract

Mobile madness

Prisoners in jails are having telephones fitted in their cells, coupled up to a control system.

This crazy idea is thought to stop the smuggling of mobiles into prison, as all calls will be monitored.

It is obvious that the crooks who organise business with mobles will still arrange mobiles to be smuggled in, although who is doing this must be an insider.

Surely there must be some gadget available that notifies the whereabouts of mobiles in the vicinity.

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

YEP Letters: September 19