YEP Letters: March 4

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I was most disappointed to read the negative reactions to my recent independent survey of rush hour bike traffic into and out of Leeds along the A65/A647 corridor as defined by “City-Interconnect” (YEP, February 17).

Both Messrs Clark and Smith criticised my choice of census points (Torre Road and Wellington Bridge) quoting alternative biker routes along Whitehall and Kirkstall Road. Both these routes are irrelevant as they are not within the corridor specified by “City-Interconnect” and under development by Leeds Council at a cost of £18m.

Regretfully, the financial conclusions were omitted in sub-editing my letter, and I would welcome this opportunity to publish these eye-watering cost/benefit ratios. Average bike commuting trips in and out of Leeds and Bradford (estimate) for one hour each way daily on the narrow A65/A647 corridor for a five day working week totals 650 biker movements. Amortised over the proposed £18 million capital investment means that each movement will cost £46,153. Over a year, the cost is £887.57 per movement and over 10 years, it remains at £88.75 per commute.

Even introducing forecast commuter growth and new casual and leisure usage of the route cannot escape the conclusion that this is yet another white elephant of similar catastrophic proportions to the Trolley Folly, HR2 choo choo, the £40 million Light Rail Ghost and a multitude of PSI projects our grandkids will be paying off.

I note no councillor has claimed to pedal to council meetings.

Vernon Wood, by email

Wasteful sign of the times

WITH THE reduction in Central Government funding to the regions, we continue to hear about how our local councils are struggling to find the funding to protect front line service to the most vulnerable.

If that is the case, how can Leeds City Council throw away taxpayers’ money on stupid projects like erecting 20mph signs all over the place?

Several such signs have just appeared on quiet, off the beaten track estates in Cookridge where there is little or no traffic, certainly no through traffic. There is no school either.

If the same thing is happening throughout Leeds then it is no wonder there is no money left for front line services when it is all being wasted on such stupid schemes.

Martin J Phillips, Tinshill Lane, Cookridge

Alan Pardew’s double negative

CAN SOMEONE please explain to Alan Pardew that “I didn’t mean no damage” (or words to that effect) means that you did intend some kind of damage.

FA please note.

R Kimble, by email

Laughter and death sentence

I WAS just thinking. If, when she was convicted of those horrible murders, Joanna Dennehy was smiling and laughing at the judge when sentenced, would she have been laughing if the sentence was “you will be taken from here, to a place of execution, and there you will be hung by the neck until you are dead”.

Just a thought?

Ernest Wilson, Alwoodley

National leader on empty homes

THANK YOU to “name and address supplied” for his letter regarding his son.

I feel I must repeat that there are only a tiny number of long term empty council properties across the city. The vast majority of long term empty homes are in private hands and Leeds is a national leader at bringing large numbers of these back into use.

I am concerned to read that the family have unsuccessfully tried to resolve this matter. I am keen to try and make sure we are doing what we can to support him and if you wish to forward me your details I will personally look into this.

Coun Peter Gruen, deputy leader, Leeds City Council

Old YEP site’s a sad sight

EVERY MORNING I drive into Leeds and feel somewhat saddened. It’s not that I’m going to work, rather the sight of the demise of an iconic Leeds landmark.

In my youth I recall the reconfiguration of the Armley junction into Leeds, the regeneration of the area and the construction of the ‘Evening Post’ building. Many millions of people will have since travelled past the YEP and either checked their watch against its impressive timepiece or young children gathered in the rear of the car have endeavoured to guess what the temperature was.

It is therefore extremely sad to see that the YEP is now empty and about to be demolished. However it is even sadder that the timepiece and temperature gauge is seemingly allowed to die a slow and painful death. My plea to the YEP is this. Either repair the symbol of emerging Leeds or allow it to pass away gracefully by turning the power off.

Barry Breakwell, by email

Flooding ordeal in our village

IN REPLY to Coun Richard Lewis, if he thinks the article about the Leeds flood alleviation scheme is incorrect and unhelpful, ask the residents and businesses on Main Street and Victoria Street in Allerton Bywater.

They had to be pumped out by the fire service in 2012. Also the residents on Barnsdale Road the A656 main road out of Castleford that had to be rescued by boat. This road was closed due to flooding five times that year.

I attended one of the public information displays on the proposed Leeds flood alleviation scheme at Leeds Town Hall. As I was reading the proposals and looking at a map a female officer asked me if I had any questions. I asked her about the effect on villages down stream of Swillington as I live in Allerton Bywater. She did not know where Allerton Bywater was! I had to show her on the map.

Only yesterday I had to ring the Environment Agency to ask them to come out and open the sluice gate on one of the flood water catchment ponds near my house, as the footpath around the pond had been under half a metre of flood water for four weeks. This, after the river only rising one metre and had gone back to its normal level three weeks ago. We are constantly being told by various experts that climate change will mean more prolonged wet weather in the future.

I don’t know if Coun Lewis has ever been to Allerton Bywater? If not I would gladly take him on a personal tour of our village to show him and explain the problem areas and the effect flooding has on the village residents and surrounding area.

Coun Mick Weaver, Allerton Bywater Parish Council

Rich benefit as poor suffer

YET AGAIN this Government has shown that it looks out for the rich whilst hitting the poor hardest.

With effect from April 1 this year, people who are wealthy enough to own a property which has a self-contained annexe in which they have installed a relative can apply for a 50% Council Tax discount for the annexe. Or even if no relative lives there but they use the annexe as part of their main home, they can still get the discount for it. And this at a time when benefit claimants are being told they can’t have full Housing Benefit if they have a spare bedroom!

I doubt the discount will be claimed much here in the North of England, but I wonder how many of the Government’s own ministers and rich Tory donors in the more affluent South will be able to benefit from this discount?

Yvonne Palmer, Leslie Avenue, Yeadon

YEP Letters: October 19