YEP Letters: December 19

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Trolleybus will cause more congestion

Christopher Todd, Leeds 6

Readers might like to know that despite active lobbying by a pressure group that has close links with NGT, notably using a meaningless picture of a NGT trolleybus going up an empty Otley Road, on December 16 the Regional Council in Wellington, New Zealand, refused to rescind its plan to dismantle its current trolleybus system, and reaffirmed its determination “to be the first region in the country with an all-electric bus fleet”, adding: “Electric vehicles are coming and the challenge is to prepare the way for these by agreeing on the infrastructural needs” (http://www.gw.govt.nz/regional-council-forges-path-for-transition-to-all-electric-bus-fleet/ ).

Why does West Yorkshire still refuse to look at what is happening in urban transport throughout the world? On December 14, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which has former Leeds Council leader Keith Wakefield as chairman of its transport committee, issued a document on “transport measures to deliver health benefits” which include, we are told, “the planned NGT trolleybus network in Leeds” ( http://www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/News/Articles/WYCA-Transport-measures/ )

Yet, on NGT’s own evidence, at the public inquiry it came out clearly that the scheme would in fact be the cause of more congestion and pollution. It is worrying, in the light of proposals for political devolution, that we have local politicians who act as if this inquiry had not taken place and chose to listen only to members of their inner circle.

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When will we get answers?

D Angood, by e-mail

Having read the letters of the last few days, two have provoked thoughts of how things might or should have been if the people who have the power to change things had only looked at the whole picture.

Yvette Cooper was taken to task for not doing enough to save Kellingley Colliery. This pit was bound for closure because of decisions to close Ferrybridge and Eggborough power stations because they said their emissions were beyond the limits. Were these decisions purely political because technology regarding CEMS (Combustible Emission Monitoring Systems) has improved considerably since the turn of the century. Though there is a cost, their application can be used to drastically reduce the emission of the so called “greenhouse gases” and the more toxic ones. This is done by the analytical probes in the flue measuring the components of the gases and through computer technology injecting neutralising agents to counteract the toxicity. Were these possibilities not fully discussed by the decision makers before the final shut downs? Was the cost of these alternatives more prohibitive than these closures? Do we have any answers?

Again we have Mr Bovington extolling the virtues of an underground system for Leeds and I agree the possibility should be considered as a serious option. I have passed comment about the severe bottleneck east of Leeds station and voiced possible alternatives to include HS2 in the future. However I think a simple start to such a scheme could be made at the Park and Ride base at Elland Road.

My vision would be to utilise the Holbeck viaduct and extend it from near Gelderd Road to run adjacent to the London line to the Park and Ride ground. There the line would run round the perimeter with a number of halts and a larger one next to the football ground. The line would then return via the viaduct and be constructed to go under the dark arches with a view to commence a circular underground route around the central business district (CBD) with numerous stations. Future spurs could be planned to be implemented as and when funds became available.

This is just one of many ideas put forward by interested parties who wish to see Leeds and district have a more functional transport infrastructure.

I and many others raise questions concerning current issues but we do not see any answers forthcoming from those who should respond. One begins to wonder why.

Football in headlines

Brian W Nickson, Wakefield

Knowing that the initial results of David Cameron’s negotiations with other leaders regarding immigration was imminent, I tuned into the ITV evening News at 18.30hrs on Thursday December 17 expecting the inevitable bad news.

Shock! Horror! Worse than I had expected! A football manager had been fired. The first six minutes of a major news organisation’s headlines devoted to football. Heaven help us.

Road tax for cyclists?

Anthony Craven, by email

I often use the road between Rothwell and Garforth, which tends to be quite busy, but sometimes the traffic is moving unusually slowly.

When I eventually get to the head of the queue, the problem appears, a single cyclist, toiling up the slight rise outside Woodlesford. hardly more than the speed of a brisk walk. So drivers, unable to overtake because of oncoming traffic, become frustrated and annoyed; a bad frame of mind to be at the wheel!

The exhaust fumes from so many vehicles over a period of time polluting the air and the additional cost for each driver are completely unfair and unwarranted due to one cyclist, probably on a pleasure ride, costing him/her nothing.

Some in the queue, buses, lorries, vans et al may be working to a timetable or deadline! Even fast riders on a busy road can cause mayhem, as motorists must be hyper-cautious when overtaking. I’m sure similar situations occur on other routes also.

To make these occurrences more tolerable, fair and justifiable, shouldn’t a road-tax be imposed on cyclists like other road-users?

Thanks for brilliant nativity

M Naylor, Leeds 10

Forget the Grand Theatre and Alhambra......try to get an invite to a school nativity, especially one acted by the 6-7-year-olds.

Once again I must credit the youngsters at Westwood Primary, Middleton with a rousing variation on the traditional story. Modern with characters never seen in Bethlehem but the kids still got the well known message across.

Congratulations to the staff at the school for the obvious hard work put in. A brilliant start to the festive season. Thank you.

YEP Letters: October 19