YEP Letters: August 28

Have your say

Regarding the comments of Mr Phillips’ letter (YEP, August 1).

I could not agree more with his comments on the present bus services in Leeds.

In the 1970s, I was employed first as a bus conductor, then a driver, when the bus services were run by Leeds City Transport.

In those days, inspectors were like jack-in-the-boxes, you never knew when they would spring up. They not only checked passengers’ tickets, they kept a strict control of the buses timings.

Every fourth bus stop was a ‘fare stage’ and if a bus was more than four minutes late, the inspector would want to know why.

If we left a fare stage more than one minute early, there would be trouble – there was no excuse – you could set your watches by the buses.

In the rush hours, an ‘overflow bus’ would follow immediately behind the regular bus to pick up those who could not get on the first.

We operated on Christmas Day up to 8pm (we were paid treble time).

Boxing Day was Sunday service – New Year’s Day was not a public holiday then.

In those days, the Leeds bus services were second to none.

It seems to me that making even higher profits is more important than the reliable service that I believe the public are entitled to, but not getting.

Any comments, First Leeds buses?

DW Daniel, York Road, Leeds

Putting HS2 on the expenses

EVER SINCE HS2 was announced, I have monitored the YEP letters pages with equal measures of amusement and amazement at the claims and counterclaims of the protagonists.

The participants seem to be divided between “nays”, (largely average readers endowed with commonsense), and the “yeas”, (who mostly seem to be representatives of the establishment with vested interests in HS2 completion – albeit in 203? at (currently) double the original estimate.

The aforementioned “yeas” include MPs, councillors, and a very few businessmen who have been press-ganged into promoting the ephemeral “benefits” of HS2, which will knock a few minutes off the journey time.

Of course, these beneficiaries can afford to enthuse as their rail fares will be paid for as expenses, inflating the tax bill for those of us who cannot afford normal fares, never mind premium HS2.

And remember, HS2 is not so much to benefit northerners travelling south as it is for southerners travelling north. MPs can spend more time in London before having to visit their “desolate” constituencies – and return to their comfort zone earlier.

This kind of “blue sky” forecasting by the bureaucracy has lumbered Joe Public with such idiocies as a non-functional NHS computer system, the giveaway Dome, £1 billion of unusable high speed broadband across South Yorkshire and a nationwide network of empty regional fire HQs. When will they ever learn?

They could start by abandoning the discredited trolleybus project.

Vernon Wood, by email

Explain interest rate anomaly

While the base bank rate of 0.5% has remained the same for the past three or more years, interest from banks and building societies has continued to drop, by as much as a further 70% before tax.

Yet in the same period house prices and sales are supposed to be on the increase, and mortgagees are having to pay proportionately more. It would be much appreciated if banks and other institutions would explain this anomaly.

As in the past the rates of interest to investors has always reflected the base lending rate, why is it so different now? Or is it just that, as investors believe, it is they who are suffering the consequences? And although it is impractical, how would these arbiters of finance be able to operate if investors withdrew their money en masse?

E A Lundy, by email

Film sparks air show memories

I have recently watched the film Dr Strangelove on a TV film channel which reminded me of the annual air displays over Yeadon by the RAF.

In the mid 50s Leeds Bradford Airport was still an air base and during August we were treated to sky writing by Hawker Hunters and sometimes we would see a Vulcan Bomber and perhaps Gloucester Javelins.

Whereas our planes had camouflage colours, one year was a little different, we were visited by the American Air Force and their planes were bright silver in appearance.

As a child, standing on the edge of Eccup woods we saw a huge plane refuelling a fighter in flight. The tanker had what appeared to be four engines on each wing. It was explained to me that some of these were not engines but fuel tanks.

Could this aircraft have been a B52 as is depicted in the black comedy and does anyone recall which year?

Brian Poulter, Guiseley

Spineless PM’s bad back

I would like to know who diagnosed David Cameron with a bad back. If it was a doctor, they need to be struck off.

As I see it David Cameron is spineless, so how can he have trouble with his back? A spineless man doesn’t have back trouble.

Roger Watkinson, Oak Road, Leeds 15

Plea for info on Doris Storey

If you or someone you know remembers anything about Doris Storey, the famous Leeds swimmer, such as her school days or any part of her childhood, working at Montague Burtons clothing factory, swimming at York Road Baths, the name of the street where she lived, will you please contact me.

Some of you may remember a similar appeal in the past but now I have caught up with myself I have a printer for the book and help with layout etc, but I will not be able to complete the text and getting photographs without your help.

Norman Harding, normanharding1@hotmail, 3 woodview Court, LS14 5 QH, 0113 2606147

‘Treasonous’ defence cuts

RECENT further defence cuts, condemned by the Chief of the General Staff, a government appointment no less, are simply treasonous. There is no other word.

Defence of the Realm is the prime responsibility of government. I make no apologies for going back to my now famous speech in Birmingham, this is happening as we give away £1billion a month in overseas aid, £30 billion in IMF support to the Eurozone and a further £1 billion a month to Brussels.

Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire

MEP must vote on biofuels

I hope that Godfrey Bloom MEP will vote next month on whether to limit the amount of crops burnt as biofuel in Europe. The use of this destructive fuel is driving global hunger.

The development agency ActionAid claims that in Europe we burn enough food as fuel for our cars to feed over 100 million people. The rush for biofuels results in huge land grabs across the developing world, leaving poor farmers unable to feed their families.

In sub-Saharan Africa alone, European biofuels companies have taken land for this purpose 38 times the size of London in just three years.

So please, Mr Bloom, do your bit to stop millions more being pushed into hunger when MEPs vote about this next month.

Revd Barry Parker, Park View, Beeston