This letter has been a long time coming! I am now prompted to put pen to paper following a recent visit to Ashton Under Lyne. The plan was to use the park and ride (free) next to Ashton tram station and ride into Manchester.
The journey put any experience of travelling on public transport in Leeds to shame. The tram was on time, clean and despite part of the journey being on- street, was quick and effortless.
The return journey was the same and made at peak time. The ticketing was simple and cheap (£4.80 for all day on the whole system) and the tram stops sheltered and full of customer service applications.
The occasion got me thinking about the contributors to your paper on the subject of the present NGT trolleybus scheme and HS2.
Are these complainers the same crowd that put paid to Leeds’s efforts to secure its own tram system from the late 80s onwards? What knowledge of transport systems do these complainers possess?
I wonder if they have ever savoured the tram systems of Barcelona, Paris, Bielefeld, Basle, and many other European cities including incidentally Salzburg which is both an historical small town and almost 100% trolleybus.
A recent read of the railway press gives lie to the popular complaining of the correspondants in your paper about HS2. The paucity of their knowledge is staggering.
I wonder if the same people that complain about a dozen or so buildings coming down along with a clutch of trees give a single thought to the occupants of housing that borders the motorways and rail routes that they use to travel the country with ease, not to mention the houses they fly over on their £9.99 air tickets!
Where were the protesters when parts of Hunslet/Holbeck were remodelled to accommodate the M621 or for that matter the disruption caused by the construction of the inner ring road? Thank heavens these people were not around when Britain was involved in some of the massive transport engineering successes of the past. Their selfishness is astounding; it is about time the folk that will benefit from modernised transport in Leeds spoke up for themselves and realise that if they don’t, the little people so protective of their little corner will win the day, and we will be stuck with a hotch potch of bus initiatives that are both scruffy and ugly, piece meal and ineffective (yes, you can still get three 56s together and then wait 25 minutes for the next one). I wish the NGT team well in their efforts, and hope they do not lose heart!
Come on Leeds, you have been left behind by tramway exellence in Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Sheffield and more.
Rev Robin Paterson, Manston Way, Cross Gates, Leeds
Arena parking: Stop whinging
For pity’s sake, can we stop moaning. It’s difficult to get out of the car park following an arena event, yes, it may be, tough – what would you like, a blue light escort?
Have you ever been to any major event, elsewhere, it is always difficult, it goes with the territory. The Leeds Arena, which I have not yet visited, is central, not in some godforsaken industrial estate setting in the middle of nowhere. That does not mean it is the wrong location, it is an advantage.
Wrong artistes – have you seen the programme? I think those most of us have either never heard of, or have forgotten, appear occasionally at the City Varieties. Popularity is the key to success in arena style events.
Finally, lap dancing clubs – never been, never want to but who knew that they were there until you publicised them – I had to look quite carefully to see them, they are extraordinarily discreet establishments – is there any evidence they lead to disorder?
Now, we, the taxpayer, will fund the hugely expensive costs of defending Judicial Review proceedings by those who have arbitrarily lost their livelihood.
I am not a fan of lap dancing clubs and as a gay man am unlikely to ever go to one.
I simply despair sometimes of what our public authorities do and what we have the capacity to whinge about.
Steve Mason, Henconner Lane
Keep Agency, scrap Coalition
I applaud the emergency services and the Environment Agency for doing a great job, all our agencies have been affected by cutbacks.
The Environment Agency helped to save thousands of lives so why is this Coalition Government trying to get rid of it?
Satellites have determined that in the Arctic, Greenland loses 200 billion tons of ice per year. The ice lost from the Arctic and Antarctic between 2003-2004 was 5 trillion tons.
This is approximately a thousand cubic miles of ice plus every year. This cannot go on. Britain is about to experience the full force of this which I think we should call the Nature’s Autumn Statement.
We are faced with a major emergency of 2013 with the resources of 1913 with George Osborne gloating like the Cheshire cat. I think the Coalition monetary policy can be summed up by saying that the Coalition are penny wise and pound foolish.
Don’t get rid of the Environment Agency, get rid of the Coalition.
Peter Baxter, Springate Road, Southgate, Brighton
Cynical timing over MPs’ pay
Interesting and entirely predictable that the announcement about a large pay rise for MPs is done on a Sunday morning.
Presumably they will argue that it is because of “costs”. Many public sector workers have had to put up with 1% pay rises (or none at all) even though their costs have increased. Cynical information giving is one phrase that comes to mind. Three times recently I have watched important debates (about healthcare, for example) and the chamber has been two thirds empty. Many of these people are not especially qualified to do the jobs they do) and neither are they particularly effective, anyway.
Slap in the face to the voters
An independent body decrees that MPs should have their salaries increased by a whopping 11 per cent from 2015 when other public servants have their wages capped at one per cent.
The three party leaders of course publicly state that it wouldn’t be right for MPs to receive such a massive increase in view of the severe economic plight the country is experiencing but ‘what can we do?’ we hear them cry, when it’s an independent body that says they deserve more. What poppycock! Members of parliament are laughing up their sleeves at what is another slap in the face to all those people in this country who are suffering hardship because of the Coalition’s inability to manage the economy.
If MPs were serious about rejecting or delaying such a rise they should donate their increase to the burgeoning number of food banks, but we can’t see that happening can we?
Mr Osborne in his Autumn Budget statement rubs more salt into the wounds by misleading us into thinking family living standards are improving when according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies families will be considerably worse off by the time of the 2015 General Election.
Mr Osborne misleadingly and deliberately used statistics which included not just the disposable incomes of households but also those of charities and universities!
So beware voters that from now until the next election we will need to be wary of all pronouncements from hapless George and his crew who will do and say anything to keep in power and continue and be true to their manifesto, this being George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Alan Thorpe, Whitkirk