YEP Letters: January 28

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Bus lane fines? A speedy way to make money

Roy Dunwell, Normanton

As a daily subscriber to the YEP, I read your article on bus lanes. My wife and I are traders at Kirkgate Market and the closure of Union Street car park has greatly affected trading in the market. We thank you sincerely for the YEP support on this issue that has resulted in a rent reduction.

However, in addition to the financial hardship, there are access issues caused by the Union Street closure - and this has resulted in heavy congestion on Eastgate. This is the only way to service the market since the closure via Vicar Lane.

I was issued a bus lane contravention notice for December 17, 2014 and I made representations to the Council including clear causal and mitigating factors. The appeal was rejected.

Your article highlighted the increased substantial revenue the council has raised from the bus lane contraventions. The Council replied that these restricted areas are required to enable traffic to flow more freely.

If traffic flow is the priority then what measures has the council put in place to ease congestion on Eastgate? Precisely nothing.

What is the Council doing to ensure traders have congestion- free access to 
their units since the closure of Union Street. Again, nothing.

Why is traffic flow the responsibility of the 
revenue raising Parkings Department?

What knowledge of traffic flow do the Parking Department staff have?

Why does the council take a “hard nose” approach when the mitigating circumstances are a result of an illness; and congestion caused by the Council allowing closure of Union Street?

My clear conclusion is that revenue raising is the priority as also demonstrated by the recent considerable increased parking charges imposed by the Council (e.g. Sunday and evening)

My intentions are to write to the Council including the foregoing but I request that the YEP get involved as this issue is in the public interest as well as market traders.

Drivers are now cash cows

Ali Everson, Armley

Nick Keer seems to think we live in a public transport utopia here in Leeds, but for most of us the reality is very different.

There is no train station for miles in my area; the bus service is patchy at best and our local bus shelter is thoughtlessly designed without the prevailing wind in mind.

I used to cycle to work but the attitude from a minority of car drivers has made me feel somewhat less than safe in recent months.

So I drive my car every day which for me is the considered best option.

The bus lanes in Leeds are not very well thought out and are confusingly varied in terms of if or when cars can use them. I don’t drive in bus lanes, but do think it unreasonable they are used as a cash cow during off-peak periods during which they should be available to all.

Every debate needs a lunatic fringe at each end of the discussion, but the rest of us just want to get to work safely with a minimum of fuss.

I used right of appeal - and I won

Dave Linfoot, Whinmoor

In response to Nick Keer’s self-righteous letter on the subject of bus lanes I would like to point out that it is not necessary to ‘drive in a bus lane’ in order to attract a fine.

Last year I was driving in Leeds on a very dark and rainy night when I had the misfortune to put my nearside wheels over the edge of a bus lane at its very end.

This resulted in my being sent a £60 penalty notice.

My appeal to Leeds City Council was rejected out of hand despite the very minimal nature of the offence, the total absence of any other traffic, let alone a bus, at that time of night and the dim lighting in the area in question. I was, however, more successful with my appeal to the independent Parking and Traffic Appeals Service whose Arbitrator ruled in my favour. Leeds City Council was ordered to refund my fine.

Beware when driving in Leeds, and elsewhere, some of these bus lanes operate 24 hours a day and any appeal against even the most minor transgression will attract no sympathy whatever from Leeds City Council.

Remember there is a right of appeal beyond them.

Why don’t they get to the point?

R Kimble, Hawksworth

I never ceased to be saddened by the extent to which people in this country copy “celebrities”: their hair styles, their predilection for tattoos (to cover their lack of personality) and their speech.

The whole country seems to have been taken over by the habit of sports people saying “erm” between words.

This is a “pause” word meant to be used to give a moment to think about what to say next.

It has now become a constant feature of people’s communication.

I actually can’t watch news programmes any more because of it.

I just watched someone talking about Auschwitz and had to change channels because of the endless “erming” and “er-ing”.

The presenters do it all the time now, even when they’re reading an autocue, for goodness sake.

Please stop it.

The only people who seem not to do it are those over the age of 60 who were taught grammar and language properly at school.

Half-mast flags for ‘tyrant’ king

John Appleyard, Liversedge

The hypocrisy of our leaders knows no bounds.

Following the brutal murder of 17 people, David Cameron went to Paris to chant the French Revolution slogan of Liberty! Equality! and Fraternity!

On hearing of the death of King Abdullah, David Cameron and Prince Charles flew to Saudi Arabia, a one family state where there are no elections, political parties are banned and women are oppressed.

Saudi courts routinely pass sentences of death, maiming and torture.

In this country the Tories would like to repeal the human rights act, but at the same time they believe in the divine right of unelected monarchs to carry out any amount of atrocities against their subjects with no questions asked and fly flags at half mast on our public buildings in memory of tyrants.

YEP Letters: August 23