YEP Letters February 23

Independent Group member MPs. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Independent Group member MPs. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
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Check out today’s YEP letters

What is the point of new alliance?

Alan Ogden, by email

What is the point of this one trick pony of Labour and Conservative defectors forming a new alliance with only one brief, that is to remain in the EU?

All of this grouping are remainers who have never been able to come to terms with the result of the EU referendum, and have been trying ever since to overturn it.

Other then this, what else have they in common with each other, let alone what other policies have they got to put to the electorate.

Time to get Leeds back on the rails

Mr B Johnston, Leeds

That this city of Leeds - the third largest in England - depends on a bus system stuck in the 1950s is a disgrace (YEP Letters, February 11).

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the last tram to run in the city. Since then, the citizens of a great city have been deprived of a modern rapid transport system, that other cities take for granted and race ahead.

The irony is, when the tramways were abandoned LCT was experimenting with a modern single deck car that would not look out of place today. It was not to be, but the ghosts of what might have been are still there - the York Road, Selby Road reservations, but especially the abandoned Middleton Light Rail, cutting an empty swathe through the woods, silent and forgotten.

When the same Middleton/Belle Isle Circular turned over to buses, Leyland (remember them) issued a blatant piece of anti-tram propaganda, extolling the modern clean diesel omnibus, but later had to admit, because the bus now has to run a roundabout route via Dewsbury Road, it has to run part of the way nonstop to catch up with the running time of the tram.

There you have it, the tram beats the gridlocked bus any time, until Leeds gets back on the track putting its citizens back on the rails it will fall even further behind its rivals ever more.

Shorter hours are not reality

Mrs C Gannon, Barwick in Elmet.

Wakey, wakey! I thought it must be April 1 when I read suggestions of a 10am start for schools.

It seems over recent years the hours have become shorter and the holidays longer in any case. I started secondary school in the late 1960s. I had a mile and a half to either walk or cycle to the bus stop to catch the school bus which came about 8am. I then did the return journey arriving home after 5pm. As mum was terminally ill, my sister and I were often in charge of making a meal, dad being still at work. Weekends were often spent helping with cleaning, washing and ironing. Then of course, we had homework to fit in. We just got on with things, no concessions were given as regards homework or exams. It did however prepare me for work, my first full time job 9am-5.30pm plus travelling time of course and again helping at home with housework etc.

Little wonder that it comes as a shock when today’s youngsters are asked to work eight hours or more a day for their wages. Not long ago I overheard a young work colleague saying they found six hours a day “too tiring”.

Additionally, what about the many parents who currently drop their children off at school on their way to work?

Will they be allowed to start work an hour or more later - don’t think so. In an ideal world yes, we would all like shorter hours, but sorry that isn’t reality.

HS2 waste of taxpayers’ cash

Jack Waring, Woodlesford.

I disagree entirely with Rail Minister Andrew Jones (YEP February 12) when he says that claims that HS2 is to be scrapped is nonsense.

HS2 are desperately trying and have been trying for some time to get someone to pull the plug on this out of control behemoth.

One attempt has been to give details of how they intend to tear the heart out of the centre of Leeds, creating permanent damage over a six year period This was supposed to cause a massive outcry from the public to have HS2 scrapped but it failed.

Another attempt was that the Secretary of State for Transport was proposing to extend HS2 from Manchester to Liverpool and was to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to include the cost of this in his next budget.

These two items would then give him the excuse for scrapping HS2 along the troublesome route between Birmingham and Leeds in favour of this new proposal.

It is ironic that Andrew Jones should choose to make his statement in Sheffield.

Sheffield is the city that had the temerity to object to the route going through Meadowhall, instead of the city centre.

For reasons best known to themselves, HS2 then cut out Sheffield altogether and chose the present proposed route which would create the most uproar.

There are many trouble spots along this route, the three main ones being the destruction of ancient woodlands at Killamarsh, the bulldozing of a new housing estate at Mexborough, which is still continuing to be built and the very expensive tunnels under Woodlesford.

Meanwhile Sheffield has been shunted into a siding as far as railways are concerned with access to HS2 being miles away to the south. I also disagree with his further statement that “cancelling anything would be a betrayal of the North”. He is not only betraying the North but also his own constituents for whom HS2 would be of no use whatsoever.

This huge waste of taxpayers money will continue until someone has the guts to scrap it, but this is not likely to happen until Brexit has been settled.

It will then enable construction of the Northern Powerhouse rail line between Leeds, Bradford and Manchester to go ahead immediately, where it is so desperately needed.

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