YEP Letters: February 27

Check out today's YEP letters

Don’t leave gridlock to next generation

Jim Smith, Whitkirk

I have read Dr David Hill’s comments (YEP letters, February 23), he makes the Victorians turn in their graves.

What they left us is nothing short of remarkable, as the transport system goes. Why do we need HS2? We have got overcrowded roads and overcrowded railway carriages. The only thing that is not overcrowded is the cycle lanes. We need our freight to go on electrified rail lines. Drive on with electric lorries drive off in the town where the freight is needed and return on clean transport, We need all our own journeys to be on a electrified rapid transport system, all clean, generated from renewables.

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What HS2 will do is hopefully give us extra capacity to try and achieve these aims. Dr Hill needs to sit on the M62 and M60, trying to get 45 miles to Manchester in under two hours. You don’t get innovation sitting on a car park called the M62.

As it stands now, all we will leave our next generation is foul air and gridlock.

City’s transport needs radical thinking

Dave Cardus, by email

I THINK the Leeds transport situation needs joined up and out of the box, radical thinking and the use of the carrot not the stick to get people out of their cars.

I think the existing bus network could be greatly improved by a few simple measures:

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1: No cash. Oyster card/mobile pay - there is now wireless payment so why not ban cash? When a bus is stationary at a bus stop an instant jam occurs behind it. This needs to be minimised at all costs.

2: How can it be that you can track a £10,000 Toyota on an Uber app yet you can’t track a £300,000 bus on any app? First bus needs to innovate and should not have monopolies on their routes. This is essential.

3: Buses should be less utilitarian to attract people to choose to go on them. Standard buses are noisy, smelly, unreliable (often late) boneshakers, no effort is made to make the journey more pleasant for the passenger (background music perhaps, wifi etc.)

In any other business the customer is king, the reverse seems to be true for buses, I suspect this is largely to do with their safe position i.e. monopoly on routes, they can afford to be complacent.

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4: A combination of smaller buses on linking routes and bigger buses?

5: Executive buses - more expensive ticket price but may entice people out of their Range Rovers etc. It is important to make people want to choose the bus over a car, currently there is no reason to do this almost unless you have no alternative to get to work.

6: Train station in Otley ?

7: Change the law to allow cyclists to go through red lights at their own risk legally if they join a scheme with training and a nominal annual charge.

8: Secure bike parking facilities with storage lockers, showers, cafe etc at various key locations int he city centre. Main objections to cycling are weather (change of clothes) a safe route in and out and to know your bike will still be there after a hard day at work. If one is missing it’s a no deal.

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9: With smart phones there is no excuse for someone to have to wait at a bus stop for more than five minutes (max).

10: Encourage people to walk to work if they live within a reasonable distance. It’s probably much quicker at the moment for many people (and healthier).

Take action to stop ram raids

Paul Hainsworth, Armley

Isn’t it about time the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, arranged a meeting with West Yorks crime commissioner Burns-Williamson and Chief Constable Collins to ask what on earth is going on regarding the recent spate of ram raids in Leeds city centre?

How on earth do these criminals get in and out of pedestrian zones without being stopped by the police?

Every inch of Leeds city centre is covered by CCTV.

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If the terrrorists are watching these events and seeing how easy it is to get in and out of the city centre the consequences could be unthinkable.

Good news on rail investment

Geoff Hall, Leeds 17

MAY I add a few points to your excellent feature on pages 6 and 7 (The Yorkshire Evening Post, February 20), on rail investment in the Leeds and Yorkshire areas.

1. As well as White Rose and Thorpe Park, a station for Leeds Bradford Airport is planned.

2. Transpennine Express is investing in new five coach, locomotive-hauled trains to be introduced from the end of 2018.

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3. Although the government may step in to operate Virgin East Coast, new Hitachi A20M trains are to be introduced, at first between Leeds and London Kings Cross.

4. There is also good news for Laura Collins and fellow commuters, as new electric trains are to be introduced by Northern Rail, with more coaches, including Leeds-Saltaire-Skipton.

Homeowners penalised

Harry Brooke, Meanwood

It has been proposed that people can use some of their private pensions to take out insurance to provide for their care.

Once again the people who have struggled to buy their homes are being penalised while the ones who spend every penny they have will get their care fees paid in full.

A&E fee not beyond most

A Hague, Leeds 9

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I had to agree with the letter of Mr M Bennett (YEP January 25) that a fee of £10 on entry to A&E non-refundable is not beyond the means of most people.

This would without doubt reduce the number of time wasters and boost the money needed for serious cases. The same should apply to our doctors, say £5 per visit. It would cost far more if you went private.

Eye-opening knee injury

Hilary Abdrews, Leeds

HAVING recently broken my kneecap and needing to use a stick to get around, may I recommend the Leeds Council Planning Committee to take a walk around the city centre while relying on a stick.

Maybe they would then become aware of high kerbs, uneven pavements and lack of accessible crossing points which risk the incapacitated falling or being injured again.

Reconstruct our political system

Dr David Hill, CEO, World Innovation Foundation

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Looking over the last half century of political voting, I have come to the conclusion that political parties talk a great deal of what they will do when they get into power with the help of the people’s vote, but where in reality once in power nothing of any major significance changes for nine out of ten people.

For whatever party is in power, the top 10% and predominantly the 1% become richer by the year and where now according the ‘Global Wealth Report’ by to Credit Suisse, this elite 10% section of the world’s society controls 86% of all of it, leaving a mere 14% of the world’s wealth in the hands of the rest of the world (9 out of 10 people).

Therefore no matter what colour people vote for the same result according to history will be the case and this disparity increases constantly where according to other studies, the UK has the greatest rich-to-poor statistical divide in all western nations.

Therefore to me it appears that the parties are geared towards providing for the rich and powerful, but not really for the people?

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If we look at the NHS as a single example, both the Conservatives and Labour have decimated it over the last 30-years and where it is doubtful that it will now exist in a further 20 years time as a ‘free’ public service.

Both the two main parties have sequentially introduced changes for the so-called ‘good of all’ into the NHS system that have moved public provisions into the private sector over their terms, so neither of them is immune from criticism here. In the case of the Tories, they have always been the party of privatisation, but where Labour it has to said has also gone down those lines in a big way also during the Blair/Brown years, but more through PFI/PPP than the Conservatives.

This huge increase according to a Guardian article in 2012, has saddled the UK taxpayer with over £300,000 million in long term ‘off the balance sheet’ debt.

In this respect some build-agreements would cost over 10-times what it would have cost through previous conventional means of building and running our hospitals and schools according to further research.

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And where has all this wealth gone, yes you got it right, predominantly into the hands of the top 10% and corporations.

Therefore when you go to vote, don’t think change will happen, as based upon long-term history, it will not.

Indeed it can be said that this will be the case even if Jeremy Corbyn gets into power and where he may seem to be the new messiah of a new age to some, but where a large number of people (including many Conservatives at the time) thought that about Tony Blair also and where according to the ONS, (total debt of the people and government – everything not just the National Debt), went up greater than any period in UK’s history.

The only way therefore that I can see to change things for the better I believe is to change the political system and reconstruct it from the ground up and start all over again?

Let us know what you think

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