Check out today’s YEP letters.
War threat is scraping barrel
Judy Goodwin, Altofts, Wakefield
David Cameron is really scraping the barrel saying we risk sliding into conflict and war if we vote to leave the EU.
A plague of frogs, followed by boils and locusts with the river Thames red with blood?
Being in the EU did not stop Tony Blair sending our young men to fight in the Middle East with poor equipment killing hundreds of these brave men.
And it did not stop David Cameron trying to get hi own war, only foiled by a vote in Westminster.
No, Mr Cameron, the only threat to this country is from weak politicians like you and Tony Blair.
City connect will make cycling safer
Coun Keith Wakefield, Chair, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee
City Connect, including the Super Highway between Leeds and Bradford, is the start of an ambitious programme to making cycling easier and safer, with health and many other benefits.
We know that many people who wish to cycle feel intimidated by traffic, and that the current accident levels, some of which involve a fatality, are unacceptable.
We also know that some people’s life expectancy is shortened by lack of exercise and by poor air quality in parts of the city.
And, it is true to say that cycling and walking as non-polluting means of transport are part of the solution.
We, like forward-looking cities elsewhere, are responding to these challenges by providing better, segregated cycle routes, as well as training for novice cyclists.
We, through the quality of our bids, have accessed Department for Transport and Department for Health funding to progress our plans for a better city.
The approach for CityConnect, from the start, has been to consult widely, and to involve cyclists in the design to make sure that users had the chance to influence what was being built.
An independent advisory group of experience cyclists has scrutinised all aspects of the scheme.
As a result, many changes have been made as a result of their input.
We have also sought input from experts across the country.
There is further work to be done before the route is open to cyclists, which will only happen after a further audit to make sure all the obstructions from construction have been removed and cyclists can use it safely.
CityConnect will provide a boost, not a set-back, to cyclists – thanks to the contributions of cyclists who have helped to design it.
We need a transport guru
D Angood, by email
Being a long standing critic of the “Super Cycle Highway” and airing that criticism many times in correspondence to your journal, I found reading your front page 18th May quite humorous.
I have not been alone in voicing an opinion on this construction and wonder why it has taken until the near completion of the Super Cycle Highway for your paper to be so contentious about it.
Not only yourselves but also the so called “experts” who should have seen all these faults in the design and planning stages.
The question that surfaces is: ”Did they voice their concerns at that stage and the council decided otherwise and passed the plans for construction?” If that is the case then that scenario raises serious questions about the ability of the council and its officers to devise the necessary transport system for the area, given the fiasco about New Generation Transport as well.
The numerous letters deriding the decisions taken about both the Super Cycle Highway and the trolleybus scheme have all criticised the councillors involved, not only criticised but questioned their ability to make decisions about future transport plans.
How then is the area to acquire an integrated transport system that it so needs? My suggestion would be to have a panel of experts and interested parties to scrutinise ideas put forward.
I am sure there are many ideas out there of all dimensions that could be integrated into the big picture. The panel would then be able to formulate a system that gives a positive answer to all the requisites of a transport undertaking.
If a system is to be successful it must provide positive answers to all the criteria, except, maybe profitability.
That is only the case in a private operation where the shareholders are the priority and the travelling public a liabilty.
There is a case for a “supremo” in charge of transport and that would have been one of the duties of an elected mayor for Yorkshire. The local politicians vetoed that idea and we have seen the results, as one correspondent quoted.
“Politicians have to accept responsibility when things go wrong not just take the credit when things go right.” Will we see any of those involved accede to such action?
We have to use the future HS2 and HS3 schemes as a baseboard and integrate the local needs into the system.
How will such a system be funded?
Will the politicians work together or is the question, can they work together to ensure that the population has the best? That is their responsibility as representatives of their constituents first and foremost, not posturing to ensure their own survival.
I wonder if they know right from left?
Ivan Kovacks, by email
Re the cycle superhighway I’ve a couple of observations from a recent walk along part of Stanningley Road where the path goes.
Firstly the signage on some of the path signs shows a vertically bisected blue circle with a graphic of a cyclist on one side and pedestrian on the other, hat is fine as it shows who moves in which lane.
However, the exact same signs are used on the other side of the road and if you followed these reversed instructions the cyclists would be on the pavement and the pedestrians in the cycle path. So one wonders if these has been a massive mistake and the workers installing them don’t know their left from right or perhaps, when ordering the order went out for only discs for one side of the road. Whichever the mistake it will no doubt cost a lot of money to rectify this problem and I bet no heads will roll for it.
Secondly where the cycle path is bisected by a road the new signs show that the cyclists should use the pavement, alongside pedestrians, until the path returns at the other side of the junction.
I see two issues with this has the correct planning permission been sought for the cyclists to use the pavement? And this will unfortunately encourage cyclists to use all pavements as a matter of course, more than they illegally do already.
Highway seems Okay to me
Andrew Vickers, Headingley
It’s very easy to knock the Cycle Super Highway currently being built between Leeds & Bradford.
I too have ridden large parts of the (as yet unfinished) route. I was surprised how much of it was actually quite good - and certainly much better than attempting to ride on the current carriageway.
Some more thought need to take place on certain junctions and the tarmac coloured. Overall, and I’m sure most motorists and pedestrians would agree, cyclists would rather be riding on this than the road or pavement.
The floating bus stops are something new to Leeds, both pedestrians and cyclists will learn to use them safely.
I await it’s completion before passing too harsh a judgement !
Thanks to kind Samaritans
Fred Bottomley, by email
I would like to express my sincere thanks to the security man and the shoppers who came to my aid when I fell DOWN the UP escalator in Sainsbury Headrow store in Leeds at about 8-30am yesterday morning.
Thanks to them,the only thing hurt was my dignity.