YEP Letters: March 18

Bruce Springsteen in concert at Roundhay Park Leeds 7th July 1985.
Bruce Springsteen in concert at Roundhay Park Leeds 7th July 1985.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Springsteen’s social conscience

John Appleyard, Liversedge

It took seven years for Bruce Springsteen to write his autobiography ‘Born to Run,’ a song that brought him into our lives.

In 1984 during his European tour Bruce came to England to play in concert at Roundhay Park in Leeds, seeing him that day I realised why they called him the ‘Boss,’ he was awesome. Bruce Springsteen has a social conscience and very much influenced by books such as John Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’, which portrays the great American depression.

Bruce Springsteen went on to record the ‘Ghost of Tom Joad’, a character from Steinbeck’s book, about a farmer paroled from prison. The Joad family set off to California for what they thought would be a better life, they set up camps with migrants and discovered it was not the land of milk and honey that they were led to believe.

Springsteen defends the role of migrants and how they helped to build America and despite the discrimination that exists in the world today, believes they will prove resilient and victorious.

Developers should give back to community

Patricia May, Gildersome

It has long been my concern that developers take from a community but never give back.

They may take green space, green fields, a tranquil area of the environment and a part of a community’s identity, but what do they contribute? Some say employment. But that comes at a great cost and rarely benefits the local community. Especially when you take in to account the increase in traffic congestion, noise and related pollution.

All developers should be made to contribute funding to a worthwhile scheme in the area that they have changed irrevocably. I refer particularly to the annihilation of the 70 acres of green fields in Gildersome by CDP Ltd, with the full permission of the Labour-led Leeds City Council.

Along with the granting of this application there should have been a proviso that CDP Ltd contribute to the restoration of Dean Wood as a useable community space.

Does adding to the natural environment instead of destroying it seem too big an ask? Especially when you consider the huge profits CPD Ltd will make after the construction of a massive 70 bay distribution centre and numerous warehouses. Will Gildersome see any of this money? I think not. While CDP Ltd makes huge profits, Gildersome Action Group struggles to find £100,000 to fund a multi-use games area following the closure of the Youth Centre by the council. So easy to close a community hub.

So easy to neglect a natural area of ancient woodland. So easy to annihilate 70 acres of green fields. Why so hard to create areas in our environment that will benefit the community of today and future generations?I wonder how many small parish councils such as Gildersome feel that they are a voice that is never heard, silenced forever by money, power and politics.

Leeds is falling behind

Martin J. Phillips, Leeds 16

While Councillors Blake and Lewis continue to control the public transport aganda at Leeds City Council and Metro, Leeds will fall further behind other northern cities such as Sheffield and Manchester.

They recently spent a small fortune of tax payers’ money employing ‘experts’ to decide what would be the best public transport scheme in Leeds. The experts said “Tram-Trains” but Councillors Blake, Lewis et al chose to ignore these experts and go their own way looking at the bus option instead.

While buses continue to be operated by private companies - solely for the purpose of profits for shareholders - they will never provide a viable city-wide option for replacing cars.

The construction of ‘mickey-mouse’ cycle highways and resurfacing of the canal towpath targeted only potential ‘green’ commuters and remain largely unused. Few people are likely to cycle to and from work unless there is also provision at work (or a city centre hub) where cycles can be securely locked, shower facilities are available for the cyclists, and secure lockers available where cyclists can retain a change of clothing.

Now these same councillors have opted for a second-rate option for an airport rail link which is basically not a rail link to the airport. The council’s scheme is not really any better than having a shuttle-bus from Horsforth railway station.

These councillors have no vision! They are only fooling themselves with their continuing claim that Leeds is the “Capital of the North”. It isn’t even the capital of Yorkshire!

Passengers should have say

D Angood, by email

To oversee the work of redeveloping the station Leeds City Council in its wisdom have pulled together a group of all organisations with a stake in the station to work on the plans.

There seems to be a glaring omission to the list printed in the paper and that is someone to represent the interests of the humble passengers.

It is they who will be the end users of whatever design option is chosen so surely it stands to reason that their input should be a primary consideration, after all they are the ones who will either suffer inconvenience or have the benefit of it all.

Sorry, I forget, the poor passenger hasn’t got the grey matter to deliver a considered opinion, they just pay to get on and off and be herded like sheep.

It is obvious the present facilities will be totally inadequate to cope with all the perceived increases, so the question is what form will the redevelopment take.

The redesign of the concourse and retail areas are the eye catching ones whereas the platforms/access/egress and ease of movement around the platforms is or has to be the priority. Will the new South entrance be made obsolete by the redevelopment?

Will this group seize the initiative and include in their deliberations plans for an underground/overground city circle with interchange facilities? There is provision for such a scheme within the dark arches, which could be the start of something big.

Can HS2 be accommodated by constructing another line to give entrance into the station from the east? It could be by utilising the existing trackbed from Stourton (Old Refinery rail access) to Cross Green then constructing a new line to the station.

Possible future use by other east-west services with “Y” junction at Cross Green to Neville Hill. This would make it possible to integrate HS2 and HS3 between Leeds and Manchester by joining the two terminal ends of HS2 giving a service London-Birmingham-Leeds-Manchester-Birmingham-London and vice versa. Seems a practical proposition.

The fly in the ointment is the “spectre” of Leeds City Council.

Will they dictate the machinations of the group or will they be given free reign to deliberate the choice of how they meet the necessary requirements?

Will the council frustrate their design options because they are too fearful to pursue them for whatever reason?

Safety or private profit?

Brian Ormondroyd, Ilkley.

SOME weeks ago, I was travelling to Bradford from Ilkley. At one of the stations on route the train doors failed to shut.

Fortunately the guard was able to go along to the driver and within minutes we were on our way again.

Just one example why guards are needed on our trains.

Imagine what might have happened if someone had a heart attack or a stroke, and no guard was available to assist.

Perhaps the driver could have stopped the train and rendered assistance?

Hopefully no other train was coming along on the same track.

What about disabled passengers, mums or dads with pushchairs? And the security felt by a uniformed presence to passengers? Passengers are understandably angry at ever increasing fares, which often go to bail out continental state-owned railways.

Polls have shown the the majority of British travellers would like to see see British railways in British public hands. Which comes first – passenger safety or private profit?

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YEP Letters: July 26