YEP Letters: December 7

Have your say

D PECKHAM writes about Leeds in the 60s having trams and trolleybuses.

I am now in my 70s and I don’t remember Leeds having trolleybuses, although Bradford did.

As far as trams go, the last time a tram ran was in November 1959, I know that for a fact because I rode on it and still have the ticket.

I do agree with Mr Peckham that the Leeds tram system was prematurely discontinued and most of the routes were in central reservations ie York Road, Selby Road, Belle Isle to Middleton, Roundhay, Bramley and Stanningley, plus more scenic ones through Temple Newsam Woods and Middleton Wood.

J McCormack, Victoria Avenue, Leeds 9

With regard to the use of the term ‘hard working families,’ surely Mr Cameron’s party have the greater right to use this phrase, having worked in private enterprise and the wealth creating sector.

This is in stark contrast to Messrs Miliband, Balls, Brown, Harman, Cooper, ad nauseum, who have all come from privileged backgrounds and never done a real day’s work in their lives!

The term fits comfortably with the Conservative ideal of rewards for effort and enterprise, as well as caring for those too ill, or genuinely unable to look after themselves, as a safety net, to tide you over in difficult times.

This is in stark contrast to Labour’s modern day approach of dependency on the State, through public sector or union jobs, welfare dependency, as a career choice, multiculturalism, as a vote guaranteed majority in immigrant areas, and dumbing down education.

All ways of strangling enterprise and progress and improving social mobility.

I know which ideology all my ‘hard-working family,’ friends embrace and it isn’t the Labour model!

B Duffy, by email

Lots of species

still to be found

WE SEEM to know more about the Moon and Mars than we do about our own planet.

According to marine biologists and research scientists, mankind has discovered and catalogued over 1.7 million different animal species, with an astonishing 15,000 new species being discovered each year in our oceans and rainforests and other ecosystems.

They estimate the planet’s total number to be somewhere between three million and 100 million. The wide range reveals that we don’t even know what we don’t know.

It’s not like we don’t just know the names in the phonebook, but that we don’t know how big the phone book is.

Thousands of years ago, when the list of discovered species was far smaller, the psalmist wrote: “There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number” (Psalm 104:25)

AI Stubbs,


Wrong call in sack race

REgarding THE recent sacking of football managers. If the football team was a team of horses and the manager was the driver, if the team failed to pull the load, you would not expect that the manager-driver being replaced would help the horses to pull it, it’s the horses (football team) that need replacing, to get better players.

Michael Stimson,


Immigration rise is clear

I DON’T know what the need is to keep informing us of the number of immigrants to Britain, and keep telling us that the number is constantly rising, and will continue to do so.

We are not wearing rose tinted spectacles, it’s as plain as the nose on your face.

Mavis Harrison, Saxton Gardens, Leeds

Arena parking? No trouble!

Dear sir, like your correspondent (‘Arena parking not suitable’) my wife and I also enjoyed the fantastic classical spectacular evening at the Arena and had no trouble parking!

As a Leeds resident, like Mr Hyman, I was only too aware of the problems at the Merrion Centre even before the venue was built, especially on a Saturday.

So, without trying to sound “holier than thou” I would suggest a bit of forward planning ie leave in plenty of time and judging by the numbers coming in up to an hour after the official start time some of you failed to work this out!

Also like us, why not try parking a short walk away? While I appreciate this is not practical for some, it does work!

We would have probably left the Arena at a similar time as your correspondent, but unlike him rather than taking an hour to exit a car park it was a 12-minute walk then a similar time driving home. Simple.

Mr R B Rand, Swinnow Crescent, Pudsey

£30m needed on transport

So the Minister of Transport was in town the other day to discuss amongst other things, the ‘super cycleway’ planned for Leeds at a cost of £30m.

He also met Living Streets, who want to ban the car in cities, just like Brake do in Huddersfield.

Wouldn’t it be nice if he met tax-paying motorists as well to discuss how to spend £30m on improving our diabolical roads and the hopeless transport infrastructure? You know, the one that our wonderful council executive bury their heads in the ‘public transport’ sand whenever pressed on how to fix it.

Super cycleway, give me strength!

Bob Green,


Urban growth figures mislead

In my letter yesterday I wonder if I should not have at least implied just how central – for better or worse – is the Urban Dynamic Model to urban planning worldwide, as readers might not be familiar with it. It is a major planning tool.

We no longer hear much about the mythical 4,000 jobs that the trolleybus would create in Leeds, but NGT still says that the system would “boost local economic output by more than £175m per year.” I would like to know where this figure comes from.

It is not quite as common as the “4,000 jobs” cliché used to justify all sorts of projects, but it is still a number that crops up quite frequently. Has it been clutched out of the air, or is it — as in the case of the jobs claim – based on a misuse of the widely-used Urban Dynamic Model? The inventor of this formula for forecasting urban growth or decline, Jay W Forrester, always stressed the need to take into account a multiplicity of factors in which no town could be taken in isolation.

To separate out one transport system and see it on its own as a determining factor for wealth creation seems to be a solely British habit, and is, in my view, highly misleading.

In 2004, the Audit Office complained that it could not see how the claims for the Sheffield tram had been arrived at. I fear that with the Leeds trolleybus it might well come to the same conclusion.

Christopher Todd,

by email

Charity plea

to big earners

As a pensioner I am being made to feel so guilty when every single day I am receiving letters from many various charities asking for donations.

It must seem to some of the charities that because I don’t respond to all of them that I don’t care, which is not the case.

Why can’t some of the big earners (if it doesn’t already happen) for example MPs, footballers, bankers, and other big wage earners, just give one or two percent of their inflated wages to these good causes instead of the charities targeting the people who can ill afford to give what little they get?

These very big earners wouldn’t even miss the money and would probably mean they pay less tax.

Malcolm Shedlow, Alderton Rise, Leeds 17

What does

MEP cost us?

Further to Godfrey Bloom’s letter (YEP, December 3), perhaps he could inform us what he costs the taxpayer if the official figure quoted in John Appleyard’s letter (November 26) of £1.79m is incorrect.

Pauline Brearley,