YEP Says, November 1: A 20-year challenge to ensure high-speed rail delivers for all

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...and sending out the wrong message to child sex offenders

HIGH-SPEED rail, assuming it gets the green light, won’t be pulling into Leeds for the best part of two decades – which means there can be no excuse for not getting the planning right ahead of its arrival.

The debate as to how the city can best integrate this new transport model and use it as a catalyst for improving services as a whole has already begun, as shown by James Bovington’s letter opposite.

One of the biggest questions that planners must get right is the location of the key hub that will serve as the starting point for most journeys and how to connect the local networks with this new high-speed line.

At the moment, 27 million passengers a year go through Leeds Station and it’s anticipated that could rise to 40 million people passing through railway stations in the city over the next couple of decades.

Having marketed itself as Britain’s ‘Motorway City’ in the 1970s, Leeds has an opportunity to attract business, visitors and investment by being at the heart of this rail revolution.

But the stark truth is that we are playing catch up to other cities which already have transport systems worthy of the 21st century.

It means the city will require a great deal more funding for public transport infrastructure than it currently receives and a clear, far-sighted vision as to how to make the most of the opportunity high-speed rail represents in terms of bringing benefits to all.

Sending out the wrong message to child sex offenders

MILKMAN Ian Wright was found to have more than 3,500 pornographic pictures of children on computers at his home.

Nearly 200 of them were deemed to be Category A images – the most serious level of offending. One featured a seven-week old baby.

Yet Wright has been spared jail, escaping with a three-year community sentence which orders him to take part in a rehabilitation programme.

While it’s right that he receives such treatment, Wright should be doing it behind bars. Sentences like this set a dangerous precedent – and send out entirely the wrong message to other internet sex offenders.

YEP says: Slow-lane transport system not up to speed