YEP Letters: October 7

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Canal towpath has been ‘ruined’

Martin J Phillips, Cookridge

I have to confess that like many other people I regarded Boris Johnson as a buffoon. However, after last week announcing that cyclists would be better served if £35 million was spent on things like repairing potholes rather than on the staging the start of the 2017 Tour de France, he went up in my estimation.

In fact I now have a higher regard for Boris Johnson than I do of all of the people involved with City Connect. Not content with ruining seven miles of the Leeds-Liverpool canal towpath for walkers and cyclists by covering it with asphalt, they have now covered the asphalt with loose chippings.

If there is one surface that cyclists hate it is loose chippings; cycling on them is absolutely terrifying. Of the few cyclists I saw brave enough to venture onto this surface, all of them were riding mountain bikes, which begs the question, why did they cover the towpath with asphalt in the first place, since the original surface was ideal for mountain bikes?

Boris has also given us a rough idea of what it cost the Yorkshire tax payer to stage Le Grand Départ since Leeds City Council et al have been reluctant to disclose the figure.

It will of course be argued that the £35 million cost brought £102 million into the economy but where does the latter figure come from?

How on earth can anyone give an accurate figure for spending? We have recently learned that Welcome to Yorkshire underestimated the amount of merchandise it would sell by £750,000. They could have similarly underestimated the economic income from staging Le Grand Départ.

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Cycleway is waste of money

M J Anderson, Great Preston

REGARDING your headline “Hard up council set to bring in new fees (September 29) - how can they even think about bringing in these fees when they are spending hundreds of millions of pounds on the new cycleways?

Can’t they see the existing ones are rarely used, with weeds and rubbish accumulating in them. How much is it costing per cyclist? I hate to think. Cyclists pay no road tax for their cycles, only for their cars.

Building this cycleway is the most scandalous waste of taxpayers money, not considering the disruption to traffic, pedestrians and the disabled.

Tour de Yorkshire is an insult to Yorkshire folk, it should be called Tour O Yorkshire. Surely they should be contributing to cycleways from their own finances but no, they made a loss and it cost Leeds taxpayers money to stage this event.

There are many more important ways of spending our money, too many to list, councillors should hang their heads in shame.

Regressing to dark ages

Ernest Lundy, by email

It has just been announced that 20 per cent of fines made on parents /guardians of children who are absent from school have not been paid.

The subject will not go away. Even if their absence is as a result of children going on holidays with parents, little or no largesse is being shown by certain headmasters. Which for those who need to take their own time off on a rota basis, relying in many cases on seniority, is extremely short-sighted. Absences for other reasons and subsequent fines is understandable. But the threat to stop benefit payments is a step too far!

Under present government strictures it has to be noticed that this and other restrictions are being imposed upon those who are least likely afford to pay the costs of infringements, like the perfidious bedroom tax. In some respects we appear to be regressing back to the dark days such as the time when the windows tax was introduced. One of the results of which can still be seen in the large stone built house on the road between Harewood bridge and Pool, near Arthington, where numerous bricked-up windows are still to be seen. More ostentatious homes of the landed gentry were apparently never affected. Anything new?

City should have vision

Ken Redshaw, Harrogate

In response to James Bovington’s latest letter re a city metro system. Along with many others I would support such a system and possibly when Leeds City Region eventually has an elected mayor and have control of investment money from Whitehall you might eventually see some action.

I am old enough to remember the time when Leeds had its own municipal transport system but the system was run by people with a bus mentality and I fear that we are threatened with a trolleybus system because that is the nearest Leeds can come to an electric system.

Until we have councillors and Passenger Transport Executive officers with the vision of the many European cities we will see little change. Let’s have some vision Leeds. If the will is there you can do it.

Pulling wool over our eyes

Derek Barker, Moortown

George Osborne has just announced that as from next spring every UK citizen will be given the opportunity to buy shares in Lloyds Bank and that every penny raised will be used to pay off the national deficit.

How dumb does George Osborne think we all are? After using tax payers money to bail the banks out after creating the national deficit, he now expects those same tax payers to pay themselves back by buying shares in the banking system.

He has also insisted the Conservative government is the government of the workers, what he really means is that they are the government low waged benefit and food bank dependant workers. The apparent upbeat message of George Osborne’s speech is to my mind clearly an attempt to create the impression that he would be the natural successor to David Cameron as leader of the Conservatives, because as Chancellor he has been a major player in making the wealthiest few even wealthier by pulling the wool over the eyes of the rest of us. He has even adopted David Cameron’s rhetoric trying to convince us northerners that he really gives a pancake flip about us by banging on about kick-starting the northern powerhouse. Presumably the steel that will be used to build the infrastructure will come from China while one of our last remaining steelworks is to be closed down with the loss of 1700 skilled jobs, and the destruction of an entire community that is dependant on the existence of that steelworks.

YEP Letters: August 23