YEP Letters: August 8

Graphic illustration of the terrible the conditions as soldiers struggle to extract a gun from the mud during the battle at Passchendaele
Graphic illustration of the terrible the conditions as soldiers struggle to extract a gun from the mud during the battle at Passchendaele
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Remembering the battle survivors

Robin Silver, Saltaire

The past week or so has seen much reporting of the centenary of The Battle of Passchendaele.

It is appropriate we should be recalling the tragic events and remembering the loss of so many young lives. However, there seems to have been little coverage, especially on the television programmes of those who survived.

Some of those survivors were horrendously invalided losing limbs, sight and hearing and suffering from the aftermath of gas attacks. Some were not physically injured but ALL carried the mental scars for the rest of their lives. My grandfather was one such soldier. Although I did not really know him, as he died when I was very young, my grandmother always said he returned from that war a completely changed man and demonstrated this with comprehensively changed behaviour.

He was reported to have been carried shoulder-high through the streets of Leeds in commemoration of his medal winning bravery but received no help in being adjusted back into civilian life. Like so many others, he had to make his own way with a serious injury to his leg.

We should remember this horrific battle but let us also remember the survivors and acknowledge what they gave even if they did not give their lives.

MP calls for bus and rail improvements

A Leeds MP is pressing for urgent improvements to bus and rail services in the city after hundreds of people revealed their travel woes in a survey carried out by the politician. Rachel Reeves has drafted 20 questions for the top brass of West Yorkshire Combined Authority First Bus and Arriva Rail North to answer. More than 500 people responded to the Labour MP for Leeds West’s survey and called for a raft of changes to the way transport is run. We asked YEP readers for their views on the subject and here’s what some of them said on social media..

Brian Craig Hartley

In order to encourage folk to ditch the car to use a bus – the service has to be reliable, and value for money. The cost of bus travel these days is too expensive despite huge council subsidies for public transport.

Genette Strudwick

It’s expensive, unreliable and shockingly unpleasant, dirty, smelly buses!

Leon Howgate

As an ex-Leeds resident I can tell you that your public transport is a lot better than others. Here in Lancashire some bus companies charge over £2.50 to just go three stops, approximately half a mile and they are a lot less frequent. No late buses neither after 23.30 hrs. Every time I use the buses in Leeds I wait no longer than 15 mins for a bus and it is far cheaper.

Tony Bastin

And not regular enough after 7pm so much that they’re unuseable. A disgrace for a city the size of Leeds in the 21st century. Notice London Waterloo is just starting a £800m refit. #northernpoorhouse

Paul Drinkwater

It’s profit before people and punctuality – that’s privatisation for you. All large bus companies the same.

Richard Everson

Leeds buses are pretty darn good. It depends on each individual route. Headingley to town is served very well but some routes across town at rush hour are horrendous due to traffic and capacity.

Elisa Stanley

We have one or two per hour depending on the time of day or a huge walk. Then it doesn’t always turn up. Yet only 10 mins by car to Leeds. Transport here is a joke. We are better off walking to the train takes about 20 mins to the station and 10 mins to Leeds. Still only two per hour but cheaper, quicker and more reliable (except on Sundays). Just been to Amsterdam and was amazed by their transport. Trains, metro, tram, bus, water taxis and ferries, not to mention the cycling. If they are built on little islands and have managed a multi solution transport system how come we have such a nonexistent solution?

David Hedley

They need a urgent upgrade. Bad service, grumpy drivers, Sunday services are shocking, no wifi, fare rises every couple of months. Where’s the value for money?

Gaynor Louise Bainbridge

Don’t blame it on the drivers who are just doing their jobs! They are unreliable usually due to traffic or accidents. They are slowly getting too expensive for the average Joe to use though, which needs to be tackled.

Gemma Spiekmans Swithenbank

I have never been asked for MY view on Leeds’ buses, the most unreliable service I’ve ever known.

I have to use the bus a lot because of the voluntary work I do and to make sure I get to my visits on time I have to leave two hours earlier than I really should because buses “knock” continuously. Thought, well was hoping really, that it would be better during the holidays but nothing has changed.

Ian Thirkill

Every bus is late. They are mainly old, noisy and polluting.

A combined subsided authority similar to TFL using an Oster style system would be much better and they need to get those stinking old buses scrapped. Big investment into safe cycle routes would help clear some more traffic off the roads too.

Teresa Cook

2 and 12 unreliable, I’m always complaining to Metro but I just get a letter of feeble excuses back. it’s not ‘every 10 minutes or better’ as they splash on the buses, they come when they come, usually three at once every 30 minutes. And why are they diesel buses, unlike those on the Continent that run on gas?

Richard Lucas

The problem lies with the fact First have no competition. People who get the bus don’t have a choice who to use. First know this and can do what they like!

Rob Durham

Quit this stupid HS2 which is supposedly to save seven mins or something as pathetic off a journey from London to Leeds and spend the money on ALL local infrastructure.

Debs Stead

More to the point, what’s right with public transport in Leeds?

Paul Archer

You do know it’s not cheap to run a bus service especially when every day windows are getting put through, buses set on fire, so teach your children how to respect buses before you all start moaning.

Matthew Bullman

We need more buses in certain areas every five or ten minutes, take off ones where there are too many of the same routes!

hacked off, via website

Supertram was cancelled by Alistair Darling in 2005 (Labour). Despite the go-ahead being given to the £20bn crossrail project in London on top of London’s existing developed transport network, the £500m Supertram was cancelled for being “too expensive”.

Leeds remains Europe’s largest city without a Metro, light rail, tram or underground system, and also one of the UK’s most congested cities (far more so than that of the other main cities of Birmingham, Glasgow and Sheffield).

I understand Edinburgh were awarded funding (instead? – Darling’s constituency) for its tramway. Construction began in June 2008, and after encountering delays it opened on 31 May 2014.

The scheme had an initial estimated cost of £375 million in 2003, but by May 2008, when contracts were signed, the cost had risen to £521 million. The final cost after delays was £776 million.

So Leeds lost out as its £500 million cost was too high - Edinburgh’s cost was half again. Maybe this MP would like to answer why Darling made this decision or maybe the response would be an inconvenient truth.

Let us know what you think

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New colony of Humboldt penguins in the new Costal Zone at Lotherton Hall.
21st November 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: November 22