YEP Letters: August 6

Alan Bennett with the cast of 'The History Boy's for a school photograph at West Yorkshire Playhouse before he takes part in 'An Audience with Alan Bennett' at the the theatre.
5 February 2010.
Picture Bruce Rollinson
Alan Bennett with the cast of 'The History Boy's for a school photograph at West Yorkshire Playhouse before he takes part in 'An Audience with Alan Bennett' at the the theatre. 5 February 2010. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Memories of Armley Festival

Arnold Bradbury, by email

I too remember Armley Festival (‘Bennett backing festival’, YEP August 5).

Before the war it was called Armley Feast. In addition to the stalls selling brandy snaps and candy floss there were coconut shies, shooting galleries, roundabouts and caterpillar rides. My pals from West Leeds High School and I used to go there after school. The feast moved from there to Holbeck where there was a much bigger feast. Alan Bennett and I have a lot in common. His father was a butcher, mine was a pork butcher. We both lived in Armley and went to Branch Road library, Armley Baths, Clifton Cinema etc. Alan Bennett mentions Charlie Cake Park in his diaries. I sent him a copy of my book The Bradburys of Leeds which is available as an e-book from Amazon, and received a hand written letter in reply.

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Let’s not be railroaded by HS2

Julie Hunter, Crofton

What a lovely view I have from my home - but not for much longer if HS2 get its way.

Soon the lovely views and countryside will be decimated with the HS2 eyesore. The newly proposed route is going through the corner of my next door neighbour’s garden and then continuing diagonally past my house, within a few metres. The trains tracks are the width of two full sized football pitches, meaning it will be extremely close to many other residents in Crofton, Springhill, Dovedale, Priory Ridge, and the just newly completed Nostell Fields estate. All of Crofton’s residents (about 6-7,000) and surrounding villages will be subjected to long term upheaval with the noise, dirt and disruption that this is going to cause.

Can the infrastructure of our village cope? It will destroy the countryside and walks around our village wiping most of it out.

It will take years and years to build and, once completed, the service will be running 24/7. A good percentage of the track will be on bridges and viaducts, which will also be floodlit. The whole village will have to live with noise and light pollution as well as the vibration these trains will generate.

This proposed new train is meant to make our journey to London shorter but the main issue with people of Yorkshire (Wakefield, Pontefract, Doncaster, Huddersfield) is that we will have to travel an extra 20-30 miles to catch these trains from either Leeds or Sheffield, meaning extra expense and time. This seems pointless when we can catch a train from Wakefield to London in a little over two hours and no doubt the HS2 fares will be at premium. Would it not make more sense and be more cost effective to improve our already decent service?

Not only will Crofton have to cope with the HS2 running through our village it is also proposed that a rolling stock depot be placed on the south side running the full length of the village. The plans for this monstrosity will mean our village is encased by the HS2 and its workings.

I really fear for the future, health and wellbeing of our village, house prices are already starting to fall and will only fall further with this black cloud hanging over us.

I am not someone who opposes progress or doesn’t like change but the proposed HS2 will have severe consequences for many people up and down the country destroying homes and people’s quality of life and what is the real point of it all? Is it so important to arrive in London a few minutes earlier, it is really worth the estimated £56 billion?

Can we as a country afford it by bringing so much disruption and heartache to so many, on what appears to be an indulgence for so few who will benefit from it? I urge everyone in Wakefield and the surrounding area to pull together and let our views and opposition to this be known, let’s not be railroaded by HS2.

Solid arguments against new line

Coun Peter Box, Leader of Wakefield Council

Martin Whitaker claims that protestors against the route of the new HS2 line are guilty of ‘sensational scaremongering’ (YEP letters July 30).

I could not disagree more strongly with this statement. There are solid and valid arguments against the current proposals.

Mr Whitaker questions how the existing local service would be diminished by the new line’s construction.

We understand that if the project were to go ahead then existing rail services to London would be reduced by half, leaving residents with an inferior service.

I also question the value of this project and am yet to be convinced that there are sufficient economic benefits to the district to be able to support HS2.

I firmly believe that the £80bn cost of the project - which would cut the journey time from Wakefield to London by just 20 minutes - does not represent good value for money.

There are also very valid reasons for questioning the path of the route – as local communities, including residents of Crofton, who I met last week are likely to be affected.

I understand the anger of residents over the lack of consultation for the proposed route for HS2 and the impact this would have on local communities in the district.

Instead of spending resources on HS2, I believe we should be upgrading rail connections between Northern cities and making our road network better.

This would improve interconnectivity between our towns and cities so there are demonstrable social and economic benefits for this district.

Congestion charges minefield

Ernest Lundy, by email

In response to the letter of Councillor Yeadon, executive member for environment and sustainability, (YEP July 5), on congestion charges, and with reference to my own remarks on the same subject.

The information I offered was from statements on the radio and other comments made on the web. Whether or not the stated charge was correct or not is of little consequence. Vehicles entering selected zones will have to pay and more cameras will be installed to ensure they do.

As if we don’t already have enough restrictions! Although the lady obviously has a job to do, her statement that cars will not be subjected to the charge will be a relief for many. However, her revelation that only commercial vehicles will be charged is somewhat mystifying; even though these do produce greater levels of pollution.

Will buses and taxis be included? And I will not be the first to assume that a charge on such vehicles, delivering to stores and other commercial premises, will only result in higher costs.

The whole business seems to be a minefield of who will be charged and who will not. We shall have to wait and see.

Blame it on Brexit

David Fothergill, Notton

My wife filled up her car with petrol after shopping at a Wakefield supermarket and commented that the price was £1.05 a litre, the cheapest for some time.

I wonder could we blame it on Brexit, and will the Bremoaners take advantage?

Mankind meant to eat meat

Nathan Farnell, Morley

This is a response to the letter from Ben Martin (YEP August 5)

Mr Martin, I wouldn’t sign your petition for a million quid! Mankind was meant to eat meat, not rabbit food! There’s nothing wrong with killing animals humanely for food.

I’m not saying I don’t eat salad because I do, but it’s far better with some sausages and a burger. I’ll go vegan when there’s a “K” in the month!

Dirge has rightful place

Terry Maunder, Kirkstall

Oh Edna Levi (YEP Letters August 5), do you not grasp the Buddhist principle that all life is suffering and that, therefore, the dirge has its rightful place in our music?

I’ve just put ITV3 on and The Royal is on: the Herman’s Hermits song Something Is Happening is playing in the background. What a twee happy clappy song that one is. Where, in all honesty, would we be without Leonard Cohen’s Dress Rehearsal Rag, Bob Dylan’s Buckets Of Rain, David Bowie’s All The Madmen, Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, the entire New York Tendaberry album by Laura Nyro? Come on Edna, join us miserabilists and revel in self pity - it’s great fun.

St George's Crypt, Leeds

YEP Letters: July 20