IT’S disappointing that Yorkshire Post Newspapers were keen to highlight what they deemed rail chaos rather than acknowledging the months of planning the rail industry undertook with organisers to prepare for the Tour de France, as well as the hundreds of staff who worked tirelessly over the weekend to help spectators get to the event (YEP, July 12).
I’d like to thank your readers who recognised the efforts of our people over the weekend.
From travel and Tour advice to handing out water and keeping children entertained they did everything they could to help spectators make the most of the weekend.
The shortage of trains and limitations of capacity of the rail infrastructure in the North have been well documented before, but within those constraints every possible step was taken.
We provided 50 per cent more capacity – that’s over 100,000 extra spaces through running longer trains, extra services and hiring in charter trains.
Yes, services were busy and at times there were long queues but given the volume of spectators inevitably it would take time to move everyone. And move them we did – trains were there and running frequently.
The rail industry as a whole pulled together that weekend, worked as one and successfully carried thousands of spectators to the Tour.
We were extremely proud to support the organisers and Yorkshire in delivering a Grand Départ like no other.
Alan Chaplin, Service Delivery Director, Northern Rail
Diary details daily despair
The Moody Blues wrote a song called Dear Diary.
Here’s Dear Diary Hawksworth LS5... Dodge 14 piles of dog mess on the pavements on the way to the Co-op, including three on the corner of Hawkswood Street and Vesper Road alone.
Note one pile wrapped in a small plastic bag stuffed in someone’s hedge, which means the resident, of course, has to dispose of it.
Stand aside at the Co-op door to let three women with buggies enter, none of them say thanks.
Listen to the usual bad language expressed in front of very young children.
Get deafened by the inadequate young men feeling it necessary to play very loud dance music with the windows down.
Notice at least three drivers talking on hand-held mobile phones and at least four others smoking what look like joints as they drive.
Notice several young parents talking on phones while their very young children wander all over the place, sometimes unseen, yards behind them by busy roads. What a wonderful world, eh?
Terry Maunder, Hawksworth
Civic Hall work is essential
I may be in a minority, but I can’t see much wrong with the decision to refurbish the committee rooms at the Civic Hall (YEP, July 16), apart from the unfortunate timing of the announcement.
Such plans are part of a necessary ongoing programme of work in an old building like our Civic Hall, and compared to the £2m spent by Manchester not so long ago on its council chamber it’s a drop in the ocean out of Leeds’s multi-million pound budget.
Also, the new improved facilities will be of genuine benefit to Leeds, unlike some of the other recent expenditure, such as painting already galvanized lamp posts, or councillors over state pension age still pocketing allowances which they do not need.
Essential spending as on the Civic Hall is quite acceptable, it’s all the other waste that needs eliminating.
DS Boyes, Rodley
Europe fails to stop Russians
In response to the comments made by Terry Watson (YEP, July 23), the recent tragic events in the Ukraine have already printed a get out of jail free card for the next Prime Minister – whoever is in power after the next election.
The argument for not leaving the EU will be that we cannot stand up to bullies like Russia on our own without the support of the EU.
My argument against that is that the EU collectively has been imposing its will onto us and our government can’t stop it anyway.
There is only one certain way of getting out of the EU. I don’t want to be accused of electioneering for any political party, but I am a member of Ukip, which is how I will be voting at the next general election.
To vote for anyone else would be to vote for more of the same that has been forced upon us since the last Labour government ratified the Maastricht Treaty signed by John Major.
The Maastricht Treaty also became known as the Treaty of Rome – and let’s not forget that the Romans enslaved the whole of Europe.
Derek Barker, Moortown
Fantastic times on Black Hills
Your lovely article on Black Hills campsite (YEP, July 15) immediately transported me back in time to June 1950 when I was an 11-year-old scout.
I have wonderful memories of being taken there on an open flat back lorry, sleeping in a large circular canvas tent and having food cooked over an open fire.
Perhaps the best part was sitting around the camp fire at night with all the different scout groups entertaining each other with songs, monologues and of course singing the obligatory Ging Gang Goolie.
These are days long gone but the memories will always stay with me.
Raymond Parkinson, Horsforth
Remembering fallen heroes
ALONG with hundreds of others concerned about our national history, I have been involved in researching and putting together a display about the First World War on behalf of Rawdon Local History Group.
It shows images and information about various aspects of the war and there are reprinted newspapers from a century ago and a Book of Memories of all local men who fell in the war.
If anyone has a memory of a relative or perhaps family friend who was killed, we would like to record it for posterity. Rawdon Community Library is now run by local volunteers and the display can be seen from the beginning of August, to coincide with the declaration of war.
The library is open from 10 am to 6pm on Mondays, Wednesday and Thursdays and from 10am to 1pm on Saturdays.
Contributions towards the running cost of the library are much appreciated.
Graham Branston, Rawdon
Do not ration compassion
Esther McVey won the Tory Downing Street fashion walk at a canter.
But even in my shortie jim-jams, I think policies are more important.
And I was upset to read that Ms McVey supported all of Iain Duncan Smith’s harsh welfare reforms.
The bedroom tax and long term benefit suspensions are a disgrace when enacted on the disabled and poverty stricken.
Much evidence suggests that women have more compassion than men.
It would be a shame if this trend was bucked by female politicians.
So ladies, please don’t put compassion on the ration.
Max Nottingham, Lincoln