YEP Letters: December 12

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Let’s put united Yorkshire back on the map

D Angood, by email

Is it the franchisees, network rail or WYCA who will be investing their money, or should that be taxpayers’ money, into the new and faster trains for the region?

There is also the promise of new and direct services to places such as Beverley and Bridlington as well as a service that will link Bradford to Manchester Airport. So, an airport five miles away will be left bereft of a link, a link which, if we are to listen to the business and travel sectors, is not just wanted but needed. I would like to think that the majority of Yorkshire folk, who have more than the average measure of common sense, view a rail link to the airport in the same vein. Will this be included in the upgrade and modernisation of the rail network?

The proposed electrification of the regional network raises the question of whether the supply should be by catenary or by third rail. There are advantages to both but technology, as in the case of the “Maglev” train in Japan, now allows the current to be isolated to the section the train is passing over. Have our electrical engineers at the university some suggestions on this aspect and how it can be achieved and whether it is more adaptable to third rail or catenary? The cost of each system is a factor in the planning and application equation. Have the engineers also thought of alternate levels of the supply current? Is it necessary to have such a high voltage or are on board transformers a possibility?

These are the sort of questions that the operators, suppliers and authorities designated to supervise the services should be asking and if they have been asking why have we not been informed about the design and functional properties of such carriages, engines etc. Have we heard who will be involved in the design, manufacture and construction of these new trains? Will they be Yorkshire firms or will the contracts be sourced in Germany where the owners of Arriva are based? If that is the case, so much so for a boost for the Northern Powerhouse. Would a Yorkshire Mayor be able to ensure that contracts were awarded to Yorkshire firms and local workers were given priority, (as I and most believe they should)?

The figure being paraded is £1bn but we all know the ability of local government to make that sum dissipate with their passion for surveys and consultations. This is where an independent mayor would be able (if the right person were elected) to ensure that the work was prioritised and completed without all the political pap that surrounds local government. It would appear that it may be a case of you cannot have one without the other but at present the position of an elected mayor for Yorkshire seems to be a political battle rather than a Yorkshire cause. The only “valid” independent name that has been muted in the media being Sir Gary Verity, (who does not want the task) and one of the “invalid” being John Prescott.

If we can muster £1.5 m behind the Tour of Yorkshire surely we should be able to raise more souls to ensure Yorkshire is not sub-divided even further than it is today. That will surely be the case if we have small areas with elected mayors aligned to a political party. If we allow party politics to play a major part in divisiveness instead of nurturing the development of a united Yorkshire then we will not be at the centre of the Northern powerhouse. As an area we cannot allow the opportunity of succeeding united to pass into a divided failure. Let’s put Yorkshire first and put a united Yorkshire back on the map.

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Remember their sacrifice

Terry Dunwell, Leeds 14

Whilst in agreement with David Speight (YEP December 4) regarding the sudden appearance of billions of pounds to finance the bombing of Syria, I fail to see the connection between Andrea Jenkyns’ views on animals and her vote. She did what she believed to be right.

It is easy to criticise but do you have the answer to this problem? I do not unfortunately but what I do have is memories of people dying to stop fanatics forcing their beliefs on our country.You have a right to voice your opinion Mr Speight, a right given you by thousands who died in two World Wars stopping fanatics such as ISIS. Please remember the sacrifice they made and forget your political beliefs for the greater good.

Thanks to hospital staff

C Upton, Leeds 25

I would like to say a big thank you to ambulance staff, doctors, nurses, cleaners and meal staff who looked after me while I was in St James’ Hospital wards J10 and J12 Gledhow Wing.

They do a great job, they work so hard, 13 hours a day with no breaks and not enough staff, but were always kind and always had a smile. David Cameron needs to dig deep in his pockets for the NHS, they do a great job, and stop sending so much money (my taxes) to help other countries when our NHS is on its knees.

Not all about winning

Ernest Lundy, by email

A recent discussion on the radio was on the subject of a boy aged five, mad on football, who has been told he’s not good enough to play for his school.

I find it hard to believe, but see no reason to doubt the truth of it. Even so I’m sure most will agree when saying that whoever decided to disappoint a child in such a way should be severely castigated, especially after offering an opinion on a lad of such tender years.

Far too much emphasis is put on winning these days. And while those who excel as children or young adults are invaluable in any side, others also have to play their part if a side is to succeed. It’s known as team spirit. Often while those who stand above the rest at school fade from the scene in later years, others come through to show genuine talent as they mature. Any player worth his or her salt, can often learn more in defeat than in victory and those sensible enough to learn the lessons taught by both are indeed wise, and can become not only better players, but more mature men and women in later life. Without losers there can be no winners and those who constantly lose are as important in any sport as winners. In fact those with a genuine love of the games they play and constantly lose, are to be most admired, for such as these are the true sportsmen.

I understand the boy’s parents are willing to get him coaching away from school in order to maintain his interest. I’m sure all will wish him well.

YEP Letters: October 19