YEP Letters: June 14

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The dangers of speeding drivers

DS Boyes, Leeds 13

WEST Yorkshire Police are absolutely right about the dangers of speeding, as this coupled with impatience and aggression at the wheel is a lethal combination.

But it begs the question, why do car makers produce models capable of doing double or treble the UK top limit of 70mph?

If that power is there, someone sometime is going to abuse it.

The motorway network is not the only area of concern, as many local roads in Leeds are subject to the lower limits of 20mph, 30mph or 40mph, have them routinely exceeded where no speed cameras exist.

The other problem is red light jumping. I am horrified how many people take a chance on going through a red light.

This can cause other problems for residents on roads with traffic light junctions, as speeding drivers trying to beat the lights make it difficult or dangerous, and almost impossible for residents to enter or leave driveways safely.

Taxis should be banned from station entrance

Andy Reilly, Leeds

Is it time that we should be considering trying to improve the ridiculous vehicle access to the Leeds railway station?

Every time that I go to collect someone from the station, it doesn’t seem to matter what time of day it is, you queue to get into the car park.

A lot of the hold-up is caused by private hire taxis stopping two abreast in the drop-off zone. Some are even sat there waiting for their next fare.

When you get into the car park, which is small anyway, you find that a large percentage of spaces are taken by private hire taxis waiting for pickups.

Nobody gains by the taxis using it, because none of the taxi drivers ever pay for the parking. I would like to see private hire taxis being banned from using this entrance altogether.

They should be made to use the New Station Street entrance where the black and white cabs sit. It wouldn’t have any impact on their livelihoods because private hire have already been booked.

Going back to the public parking situation, because of the queues often going back as far as Thirsk Row and even further, you find that this has a knock-on effect to traffic on Whitehall Road coming in to the centre. I would like to know what other readers think.

North rail fail damages the whole country

Dr Alex Strickland, Liverpool.

I have read about the debacle that has plagued our rail system over the last few weeks, and like others, I have lost more hours standing on platforms across the North than I care to count.

Commuters into Leeds and Manchester have long been used to suffering discomfort and safety issues, as passenger loadings escalate and new investment is thin on the ground. But things reached a new low.

It was all going so well. In 2011, the former Chancellor George Osborne made electrification of the trans-Pennine route a personal priority. In 2014, local authorities across the north worked hard to devise One North, the embryonic idea which was to become HS3/Northern Powerhouse Rail – a new system offering journey times of 30 minutes in the triangle between Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield and times of 20 minutes between Manchester and Liverpool.

In 2015, the Government committed to achieving electrification on the present Manchester to York line by 2022 (although the Calder Valley route remained the poor relation). Transport for the North was set up, gained statutory status and, in 2016, franchise bidders such as Northern and Trans-Pennine Express were required to deliver better services. But by the end of 2017, the wheels has started to come off. Northern in particular, were struggling to deliver their promises. Then the much-heralded promise for electrification of the trans-Pennine link (and indeed the Midland Mainline from Sheffield to St Pancras) was itself shelved by Mr Grayling – just a few short months after politicians had been despatched on the campaign trail to marginal constituencies around Manchester and Leeds to tell long-suffering commuters how important it was to dealing with their plight.

Civic leaders like Andy Burnham and Judith Blake have worked tirelessly with Transport for the North and others. But if only Whitehall would realise – this is also the plight of the national economy too. Connectivity is vital for education, jobs, tourism, thriving towns and prosperous communities.

Civic leaders across the North of all party stripes and none, have proved themselves to be thoroughly capable, committed, keen and forward thinking.

They have a strong record of working with partners, solid political mandates and a good idea of what is required in their own areas. Is it too much to ask for our communities to be led by these people, or is the North once again to have to beg for the crumbs from the Whitehall table, while northern commuters crowd onto platforms wondering which service will be delayed or cancelled next?

Hard words to live up to

R Spreadbury, Liversedge

I NOTE with some scepticism the oft-used phrase first used by the late Jo Cox in her maiden speech to the House of Commons, “We have more in common.”

Fine sentiments undoubtedly, but like all fine words, living by them is somewhat harder. What an old cynic like me finds somewhat hypocritical, is that many people who trot out this phrase are the last to find commonality between themselves and, say, Trump and his supporters or Jacob Rees-Mogg and other Brexiteers. But, hey, I suppose that’s politics for you.

Vote was out of focus snapshot

John Cole, Shipley

I am delighted that some people who voted for Brexit have had the intellectual honesty to realise that their initial choice was poor and have changed their mind.

The emerging evidence against leaving has been compelling. The latest opinion poll shows that if the referendum were re-run today there would be a 54 per cent to 46 per cent vote in favour of remaining in the EU. Under these circumstances it is crazy – literally crazy – for the UK government to persist with efforts to leave the EU. The 52:48 referendum result from two years ago was very narrow whilst the referendum was flawed in various way.

It does not make any sense whatsoever to crucify the British economy and rupture our vital working relations with our closest neighbours on the strength of an out-of-focus snapshot taken two years ago.

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