YEP Letters February 12

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Fond farewell to acting great Finney

David Gibbs, Leeds 7

A fond farewell then to Albert Finney who has passed away at the age of 82.

One of the original “angry young men” of British kitchen sink dramas of late 1950s and early 1960s cinema and star of probably the best of those in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. He is without doubt one of the best actors this country has ever produced and certainly the best actor never to have won an Oscar even though he was nominated five times.

It is testament to his ability that the great Laurence Olivier described him as the “greatest actor of his generation”.

It is perhaps fitting that in his last film appearance the Bond movie Skyfall he gave a most telling performance in a small part towards the end of the movie in what I consider the best sequence in it. A giant of British cinema. RIP.

Second class strategy for city’s transport

ME Wright, Harrogate.

LEEDS councillor Carmel Harrison asks if reliable and affordable bus services are too much to ask.

The answer must be ‘yes’ for as long as Westminster remains wedded to mindless, long discredited bleats of ‘competition.’

For far too long, MPs representing Leeds have failed to give robust support to the city council in transport matters.

Repeated denials of adequate funding ended, 30 years later, in a desultory £137m with nothing more than token protest.

Leeds has higher levels of air pollution than London, yet the latest “transformation” consists of another second class strategy, using second class technology.

Once again, more diesel buses are the answer.

We’re told that these are the ‘ultra-low emission’ type.

They will only remain so, subject to regular maintenance, which dents profits and displeases shareholders.

Just up the road in LS25, all-electric double deckers are being made; but not for Leeds. Why?

New station is needed

James Bovington, Horsforth

I read with interest that a massive new housing development is planned for the former Marsh Lane goods yard, the site of the first rail terminus in Leeds built not far off two centuries ago.

This comes at a time when Tory politicians are promising that paradisaic post-Brexit Britain will be investing 
billions in transport for the North.

The aim of the proposed transport infrastructure is to speed travellers between major centres while doing very little to improve journey opportunities on the existing suburban networks.

Hence a cross city tunnel in Leeds with a major underground station at Eastgate/Quarry Hill could facilitate a hundred thousand journeys a day and provide direct links throughout inner Leeds and beyond to those who will live at Marsh Lane.

A future Eastgate Station would also facilitate the journeys of those attending our new cultural gem the Leeds Playhouse or more prosaically those worshipping Mammon at the nearby Victoria shopping centre.

At present shoppers can park at Victoria so why can’t they also enjoy a direct rail link?

The technology is hardly complex - bore a tunnel, build a station. Other provincial British cities have managed it with direct access to the heart of their central shopping and cultural areas via underground stations and Liverpool, Newcastle and Glasgow are good examples.

It could well be that a cross city ‘transverse wave’ tunnel with underground stations in Holbeck, City Square, Millenium Square and Eastgate/Quarry Hill costing a couple of billion pounds along with the full electrification of the local rail network would represent excellent value for public money given the 
socio-economic and environmental benefits that would accrue.

It might even make Mrs Bovington consider deserting leafy Horsforth to purchase at Marsh Lane!

Referendum not the answer

Martin J Phillips, Leeds 16

According to Rachel Reeves MP, “a People’s Vote is the only way to resolve the Brexit mess, giving the final say on this country’s course back to the people.” In other words a repeat referendum.

The problem with Rachel Reeves is that she, like David Cameron the first time round, assumes that a second referendum would end with a Remainers’ victory.

If another referendum voted for Brexit, how would this resolve the mess that Theresa May has created by trying to remain?

A vote to ‘leave’ is more likely in a second referendum as many people who voted ‘remain’ in 2016 firmly believe in democracy and will vote to leave in order to uphold the original decision. On top of this, now that people have seen the contempt with which the Michel Barnier, Donald Tusk, et al have for the UK there are even more people likely to vote to leave.

Bye bye BBC?

Harry Brooke, Meanwood

The BBC wants to abandon the over 75s and make them pay the poll tax, aka licence fee whether they watch it or not.

Does this behemoth feel there is no one in the country who is able to sit in front of a camera and read an autocue for less than half a million pounds?

Is there no one who can talk about politics on Radio 2, other than the highly paid Jeremy Vine?

I’m sure any lad could invite his mates round to play music and chat about life for less than the half a million Steve Wright gets. It is sobering to realise that it takes more than 11,000 licence payers to cover Gary Lineker’s salary.

The technology exists to allow us a choice regarding which programme providers we use. Put into effect, I wonder how many of us would say: “Bye, bye, BBC!”

Airport investment

M Little, by email

regarding Leeds Bradford Airport to be the natural choice for travellers.

For starters get rid of the drop off charge.

Also, they should do away with charging for a trolley, queuing outside for a taxi , get more staff on the passport check – after all the price is always going up – put investment in this.

The average working family who are passing through are not interested in overpriced fancy shops.

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