YEP Letters: February 1

Check out today's YEP letters

Monday, 1st February 2016, 6:00 am

Bus services not commercially viable

Nigel Keer, Cottingley

I read with interest that two new bus services are due to commence operation in the Morley area towards the end February.

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This is all well and good for those that benefit, but with regard to the routes they’ll be taking I doubt very much they will be commercially viable. This means they will require heavy subsidies at a time when the county as whole is having to make great savings.

I strongly suspect most passengers will be pensioners and will be travelling free. This means these new services will be further funded by the public purse!

Just to illustrate this, I travelled from Morley, via King George Avenue, to Batley not so long ago and there were never more than five other passengers on board and all were pensioners.

The driver told me he’d yet to exceed £15 in a shift on the current 213!

I’d very much like to see just how grateful these people are who have campaigned for said new services.

Will they still use them if they were charged £1 per journey or half-fare? Or would they be happy to say ‘bye-bye’ to them around the end of August? We’ll have to wait and see.

Time of electric buses is coming

Christopher Todd, by email

Bill McKinnon (YEP, January 28) mentions Metro’s understandable coyness about earlier attempts to reintroduce trolleybuses.

While NGT is for one very expensive, damaging, poorly-integrated line, the scheme announced by the West Yorkshire County Council on November 12, 1985 was for “44 electrobuses [sic] to run over more than 30 miles of routes”.

The 1911 trolleybus was a mistake, but showing a desire to keep up with technology. The city revealed the same spirit in 1968. Its planned trials for a 25-seater battery bus attracted international attention.

It was obviously too early, but the time of the electric bus, free of overhead wires and using batteries or supercapitors, is coming fast.

This point is eloquently made by Norman Bartlett, “a lifelong admirer of the trolleybus”, while discussing the NGT scheme in “Sorry, Leeds”, Buses, March 2015.

Following Wellington’s plan to abandon trolleybuses, we now find Innsbruck replacing a trolleybus line with a Bombardier tram, and Tallin confirming its decision to replace much of its trolleybus fleet with Volvo hybrid buses.

This is a continuing trend. Figures on public transport in America for January to September last year indicated a 7.6 per cent decline in trolleybus usage nationally (APTA Q3 2015 Ridership Report). In Seattle, bus usage went up by 1.56 per cent, whereas the trolleybus declined by 3.65 per cent. Instead of keeping up with change, NGT would have the city adopt yesterday’s technology for 60 years.

Trolleybus fanatics quote improvements to long-established trolleybus systems in places, which – unlike England – have plentiful supplies of hydroelectricity.

Planning a new system here is defying common sense.

Battlefield pilgrimages

John Battye, Castleford

EACH year the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry battlefield tours organise pilgrimages to the battle areas of the First World War.

The tours are in August and September covering France and Belgium.

This year we plan to visit the Somme Battlefields, The Ypres Salient, Arras, Vimy Ridge and Loos Battlefield areas if requested.

One hundred years ago on July 1 1916 the Battle of the Somme began.

After the first day of fighting the British army casualties were around 57,000, the highest casualty figure the British army ever suffered.

The trips specialise in visiting specific cemeteries or memorials on the above mentioned battlefields when they are requested, and an experienced battlefield guide will accompany each trip.

We can also assist people in the tracing of war graves from the First World War.

The KOYLI Battlefield Pilgrimages was formed as a charitable hobby in 1990 by ex-servicemen who have many years of experience in conducting visits to the First World War battlefield areas of France and Flanders, and we support the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and other institutions.

These trips are open to anyone who might be interested, and we welcome all enquiries.

We are a not for profit organisation.

Anyone who requires further information should write to me, John Battye, 32 Rhodes Street, Hightown, Castleford, West Yorkshire WF10 5LL or telephone 01977 734614.

We ask for a medium sized SAE for all postal replies.

Putting profit before workers

J Shedlow, Leeds 17

PEOPLE should stop blaming the Chinese for so-called dumping cheap steel over here.

They don’t give it away for nothing. It is fulfilling orders from British-based companies who put profit before workers.