YEP Letters: February 24

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Plan your visit... before going to visitor centre

Maureen Kershaw, Hyde Park

The other day I decided to visit the new Visit Leeds – formerly Leeds Visitor Centre – at its new location.

I was never in favour of its move from the rail station to the art gallery and the visit did not change my opinion.

The new centre is not easily seen until you’re almost upon it and bears no resemblance to any visitor centre I have ever seen.

A handful of brochures on a stand, maps of the shopping area etc elsewhere.

A young man enquired if he could help me and I registered my disappointment at what was around me. I pointed out how the centre at the station was always buzzing with people and he agreed that there has been a large decrease in footfall.

He explained that they no longer stock the range of brochures as before. A few more were kept off the shop floor for other regions but customers have to ask for them.

I asked for two different regions, neither of which are stocked now.

I added how good it was to browse their old information for ideas on days out, to which he replied that most people know what they want before they visit them.

That’s telling me to do my homework first, not rely on leaflets which I always thought were printed to draw the eye and entice one to visit places of interest!

As I could no longer see a counter with friendly staff advising tourists I asked how people obtained their travel timetables and was informed the reason for not stocking them now is due to staff always being asked about travel.

Sorry, I thought that visitor centres were there to assist visitors!

The final straw was asking for information on hotels and entertainment and being pointed to the small adjoining coffee shop, where tables with uncomfortable tall chairs had iPads attached to them.

Ah, of course, customer service is ever on the decline and we are all expected to look up the information ourselves.

I will be very interested to see how the new Visit Leeds is received over the forthcoming months when thousands of tourists descend.

But of course Leeds City Council, despite many warnings to them, know best.

So my advice to people arriving in Leeds by train is plan well before you arrive, ask in the station regarding travel arrangements, know your buses, and exactly what you need to know from the visitor centre before you visit it. If you can find it or can be bothered to walk to it, that is.

Few bus users can afford cars

Lorna Fowler, Cottingley

I believe on the YEP letters page we share a number of common political ideologies and in my experience those who sit in that part of the spectrum are generally liberal, tolerant and possibly a little socialist.

It seems Nick Keer (Your Feedback, February 14) can’t be included in that bracket.

What possible objection could there be to pensioners using empty seats on off-peak public transport?

I suspect the number of people using buses and trains who have the money and means to use their own transport is miniscule.

Ukip on slide before election

John Appleyard, Liversedge

Before the YEP gets carried away with its survey of readers’ voting intentions (YEP, February 18), let’s remember that 75 per cent didn’t think that Nigel Farage was leadership material.

The other week Ukip lost a council seat to Labour in Harlow. An IPSO Mori poll put Ukip on nine per cent – the first time it has fallen below 10 per cent since November 2013.

Far from being on the rise, Ukip have peaked and as the general election comes nearer their star is beginning to fade.

Ever-changing policies of Ukip

Dave MacFadyen, Crossgates

The Nigel Farage Party (NFP) candidate for Great Grimsby asked “What happens when renewable energy runs out?”

Victoria Ayling was speaking to a meeting of business leaders.

By the following day she had changed her question, in true NFP style.

Her glorious leader has to resort to the same statement revision again and again.

I can only assume that Ukip (NFP) supporters and voters don’t have the nous to see through their transparent nonsensical statements and their ever-changing policies.

Woodward’s election triumph

Carl Weekes, Leeds

Grant Woodward’s ‘Woodward’s World’ column on the upcoming election (YEP, February 19) made for great reading and was well interpreted in a way we all understand.

Well done!

‘Bureaubabble’ from council

Vernon Wood, Garforth

Your example of ‘Gobbledegook’ concerning council expenditure (YEP, February 19) would be hilarious if it wasn’t so reprehensible.

It reveals a degree of circumlocutory detritus which unfortunately is rampant in officialese communication, and deserves a new and more descriptive word – may I suggest “bureaubabble”?

It seems that, irrespective of importance, any council project attracts a flood of verbosity whereby proponents and opponents try to outdo each other in terms whereby brevity and clarity are sacrificed on the altar of obscurantism.

Asked to describe a spade, a council functionary might call it a “vertically orientated sheet metal earth-moving utensil powered by foot-operated pressure and controlled by timber rod with T-junction leverage handle”.

Why? Could it be that the author feels impelled to inflate his ego/status?

To justify the unjustifiable? The £29m Crossgates-Bradford bike track and the Trolley-folly spring to mind.

Councillor Andrew Carter must be applauded for pointing out to council staff that quantities of unfamiliar words do not equate to quality and speed of comprehension – more the opposite.

Which may be a major reason why public sector decision-making is such a dilatory process.

YEP Letters: December 16