NEVER HAS transport been so high on the agenda.
We all want our local airport to be successful and it is good news that new routes to places like Oslo and Madrid are being considered. Of course residents of both those cities - albeit of vastly different sizes - will access their local airports via fast, reliable, modern and direct electric train services.
It is therefore vital, as other correspondents have recently pointed out, that Leeds Bradford gains a direct rail link to the centres of both cities. A parkway station on the existing Harrogate line is a start but the minimum quality link would be a spur to the airport with direct trains to Leeds station. In the longer term the line should be extended to allow trains from Ilkley to access Leeds via the airport. As part of the scheme the line to Otley could be reopened.
Spending the available money on new and reopened rail stations and lines would be a far better investment than the trolleybus scheme. It would also be better to ditch the proposed New Lane HS2 station and use the released funds to construct a cross city tunnel with new central area underground stations, with HS2 using the freed capacity at the existing Leeds station. This way we get the beginnings of a regional Metro system.
James Bovington, By email
DAVID CAMERON puts his head above the parapet and declares his support for the Christian values of Britain, and immediately brings scorn and derision from the faithless in our society.
Christianity is based on the values espoused and exemplified by Jesus - love for God, love for neighbour, peace and compassion - why is that such a problem for the Christianity-knockers in this country? I appreciate that the Church in its widest sense has not necessarily shown those values at all times in its history, and in some instances more recently, but that is the fault of individuals abusing and misusing their Church roles and their faith, and putting their worldly values above their spiritual values, certainly not the fault of Christianity.
People of real Christian faith are among those responsible for creating and working in many of the caring institutions we take for granted in our country, not to mention our laws and our justice system, etc.
I remember some time ago talking with someone from India who said that we should be proud of our Christian heritage and that we should stand up more for Christianity in our country - no suggestion from this “foreigner” that we should forget our Christian faith!
As for saying that anybody who promotes Britain as a Christian country is causing division, I would say that the divisive element lies with those who want to denigrate that longstanding basis of Christian values which has enabled our country to grow and flourish as it has, and the danger is that in wanting to dismiss our Christian heritage as something outdated and not needed, we may well find our future less certain and more chaotic at a time when real Christian values are vital to create a sense of purpose for the lives of all who call this country home.
THERE IS no more to be said. The ‘consultation’ (and I use inverted commas intentionally) on the plans for the future of Kirkgate Market is to be held, not in the market itself; but in trendy Trinity at the other end of town. Can Councillor Richard Lewis explain why? This is either stupidly inappropriate, or part of a nasty scheme. Is this one more ploy in an aimed destruction of our historic, beautiful and vibrant market - a real market for real people; one more stroke in the design to turn the market into an mere adjunct/accessory of the Trinity/Victoria Gate shopping hubs?
If the Council really is concerned about the market it is time they unhitched themselves from Hammersons and the developers and go back to their history books. What is at issue now and under threat is that living spirit which, once destroyed, cannot be brought back.
HARDLY A day seems to go by without a letter bemoaning this country’s apparent immigration woes. That immigration at current levels is bad if taken as read, by citizens and politicians alike, without looking at the facts, at hard evidence. But a quick browse of Cambridge University’s Migration Observatory website reveals some interesting points:
The overall effect of immigration on wages is extremely small.
Immigration has no significant impact on levels of unemployment.
There’s no link between youth unemployment and immigration from Eastern Europe.
At the last study, only 7% of migrants were claiming benefits (as opposed to 17% of British nationals).
Non-EU immigration’s impact on public services is small.
One study, covering five years of data, showed that the average migrant cost the treasury £74 a year, as opposed to their UK-born counterpart, who costs £892.
Some 67% of people believe immigration is bad for this country, as reflected by so many letters to this paper.
A quick glance at the facts reveals the opposite.
Ian Harker, Burley, Leeds
A SWEET way to show you care! The ever popular National Doughnut Week is fast approaching and I would like to make a special appeal to independent craft bakers and coffee shops across the UK to sign-up for this fun, annual charity event, which takes place from 10th-17th May, in aid of The Children’s Trust.
This year, The Children’s Trust celebrates its 30th anniversary so please help to make National Doughnut Week - now in its 23rd year - the most successful ever. In 2013, £26,500 was raised through doughnut sales from participating businesses so we would really like to beat this figure.
The general public can also help us to achieve this, by buying family, friends and work colleagues a delicious doughnut treat from bakers and coffee shops displaying National Doughnut Week posters.
So, whoever and wherever you are, please get involved in this great event and help make a difference to some very special children.
The Children’s Trust is the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injuries. For fundraising ideas, doughnut facts, and to register your vote for the UK’s favourite doughnut, please visit: www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/doughnuts or www.facebook/nationaldoughnutweek
Phil Tufnell, Vice President of the Children’s Trust.
I HAVE just spotted a programme on Channel 4 called “The Man With The Ten Stone Testicles”.
Who on earth watches this rubbish?
This programme was presumably commissioned by the “The Man With The Ten Gram Brain“.
Jack Banner, Leeds
WE ALL what the creep Savile looked like, so why show footage of him on TV whenever there’s a story like the adverts in the newspapers?
Why is it necessary to show photographs of him in newspapers? It can’t be nice for victims and I never even met him, but when I see his image I just want to puke.