The group City Interconnect, comprising Metro, Leeds Council, Sustrans and a host of cycling interests, have combined to force through the Crossgates-Bradford dedicated ‘cycleway’ route.
This madcap plan defies reason and is only proposed on the promise of a Tour de France ‘legacy’. Incidentally, what happened to the Seacroft start point – mysteriously missing following original proposals?
In furthering their case, proponents usually point to other cities as bike orientated, and quote York, Cambridge, Oxford, Norwich and Amsterdam.
The fact is that these cities lie in flat landscapes, where the massive disincentive of gradients does not enter the equation.
The proposed route for Leeds embraces significant hills in every direction apart from the Aire Valley as far as Kirkstall.
Any hope of attracting a flood of city-wide ride-to-work bikers inevitably fails in the face of such intimidating hills as Churwell, Beeston, Kirkstall and Wellington – not forgetting the two-mile drags up to Bramley, Headingley, Middleton, Moortown, Pudsey, Roundhay and indeed, Crossgates and Seacroft.
Where are the average commuting workers in the 25 to 65 year age group who are sufficiently motivated to face these geographic disincentives?
Not to mention the meteorological hazards of rain, snow, ice and wind after a hard day at work?
These are the people who ‘Our Leaders’ piously hope will help justify their decision to spend £30m, including misguided Government funds.
Earlier this year I recall that one of your dedicated readers undertook a survey of commuting bikers at morning and evening rush hours in and out of Leeds and Bradford, along the proposed route corridor of Seacroft to Bradford.
He logged total bike movements for a five-day working week at 650, which means that the £30m budget is costing almost £50,000 per bike movement.
Over 10 years, the capital investment averages out at almost £90 per commute. So even if the project persuades 6,500 commuters to cycle to work (an unlikely increase of 1,000 per cent) it will still be costing £5,000 per bike! Madness.
Is anybody up there listening? Or more importantly thinking?
Walter Varley, Austhorpe
Hospitals need healthier food
It is pleasing to see the attention now being focused on the standard of food being served in hospitals both in Leeds and across the country.
I have been on to this issue for a number of months now, firstly when I noticed in the LGI that the café and shop were offering chocolate at two bars for the price of one and a wide range of fizzy, high sugar, high caffeine drinks.
I have raised this issue in the Civic Hall and I am keen to see it brought up at the Leeds Health and Well Being Board, of which I am a member, to see if there is anything that can be done to ensure that hospitals are serving healthy food and drink.
It recently emerged that at the LGI one could buy a chicken and mushroom pie with chips, containing 824 calories, for £4.99 as part of a meal deal.
Surely these meal deals should be applied to healthy options?
The country is facing a possible obesity crisis yet hospitals, society’s main recourse for health and health care, appear to be encouraging the problem by selling unhealthy food.
Of course nutritious food could also help patients get well faster.
The Government is now stepping in and looking to improve food standards in hospital canteens.
The Health Secretary has announced new clauses in hospital trust contracts that will hopefully ensure better quality hospital food.
I hope that this helps, but Leeds must also take a lead and work locally to improve the food on offer in our hospitals.
Coun Neil Buckley, Shadow Executive Board Member for Health and Well Being, Leeds City Council
Great noise of Garforth geese
Have any other readers noticed the large flocks of geese that fly over Garforth from early morning until after midnight?
The noise they make is incredible, as is the mystery of how they can negotiate their way from we think Fairburn Ings to the lake at a local farm, and why they do this night after night.
If any twitchers out there have got any ideas please let us know.
Mike Kay, Garforth
Stop obsession with Jerusalem
THE FINAL part of the great traditional music event Last Night of the Proms was very disappointing this year.
The director and cameraman during the ‘community’ singing both seemed obsessed with the spectators at Hyde Park in London, with just a fleeting glimpse of the gatherings at Belfast, Glasgow and Swansea.
We were then treated to a truly awful rendition of British sea songs where I struggled to pick up any of our great nautical tunes.
The final straw was the performance of Jerusalem after Land of Hope and Glory.
The English must shake off the obsession with this little town which has been nothing but trouble for a thousand years.
No way can this hymn become the ‘English’ national anthem, I would rather have The British Grenadiers!
G Reed, Garforth
My grandad’s future wife...
WITH regard to your recent photo of the Moortown to Shadwell open top bus in the Times Past section (YEP, September 6), the photo was taken in 1919 at the terminus at the junction of Gateland Lane and Main Street, Shadwell.
The young girl near the bus is Florence Sheard, becoming Florence Daniel upon marrying William Daniel – my grandfather.
David Daniel, Killingbeck
Phrase abused by the bigots
FURTHER to Terry Watson’s letter (YEP, September 8), political correctness has only become a negative term since it was hijacked by bigots.
They firmly believe that it is a conspiracy to prevent them insulting, abusing and persecuting whole groups based on their own narrow view.
The real problem with bigots is that they don’t know they are bigots. They simply believe they are right.
The phrase ‘political correctness gone mad’ is almost invariably an introduction or invitation to reminisce about the halcyon days of yore, when scapegoating, insulting, abusing and persecuting minorities was an integral part of everyday British life.
Political correctness was a leap forward in the evolution of human society, though sadly not in the evolution of the species.
Dave MacFadyen, Crossgates
A bit of closure for King Richard
At last a glimmer of good news.
All those (how many?)people who have been troubled as to how King Richard was murdered can now obtain a small measure of relief to know he was bashed on the head by his troops!
I personally always suspected the lute player in his orchestra or the court jester. Perhaps they could have sought political asylum in Scotland.
And who in the Crown Prosecution Service is going to deal with the investigation?
Edna Levi, Leeds