YEP Letters: February 26

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Council plea: think before you drop litter

Councillor Mark Dobson, Executive Member for Environmental Protection and Community Safety, Leeds City Council.

Readers of the Yorkshire Evening Post will have seen two letters from Morley this Monday, each pointing to concerns about rubbish.

In the first letter, Professor Roberts asks about street cleaners in the town. There are litter pickers in Morley town centre every day of the week, with each town centre bin emptied daily. High footfall areas get litter picked once a week, with the bins emptied three times a week. Roads and footpaths are cleaned as part of an eight weekly programme.

But put simply, we cannot always collect waste at the rate that some people choose to drop it.

I’d like to ask everyone in Morley and across the city to think before dropping waste. Even better, residents wanting to go the extra mile can join us in picking up one item of litter a day, as part of the #1pieceofrubbish campaign.

N Bywater asks about the Big Belly solar bins. These bins are popular, have a greater capacity and can take in more waste and are therefore less likely to be overflowing.

N Bywater suggests people with large refuse items will throw their rubbish on the floor.

I can’t imagine that’s how many residents or visitors would behave, but as N Bywater notes, there are other bins nearby that could be used for larger items.

That said, if Professor Roberts or any other resident wants to let us know of any particular areas that need attention, please do let us know.

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Folly of the trolley bus

Janet A Bailey, Leeds 6

The slow response of the government in reporting the outcome of the public inquiry into the trolley bus (held last year) cannot but be good news for Leeds.

If the trolleys are approved they are likely to be the biggest white (or blue?) elephant ever. Who on earth is going to get out of their car or abandon other buses to board a trolley bus which willfail to integrate with other transport means (buses, trains etc),forcing a walk of 1/3 mile once reaching the city centre (and the need to buy a fresh ticket) in order to continue on by bus or train; force 62 per cent of people to stand (100 out of 160 passengers will be unable to have seats); cost much more for the privilege (because of the need to repay the large civic debt incurred by installing the trolleys on just this one route - and the fewer people who use them the higher the fares will need to be).

All to save three minutes on the journey into Leeds, three minutes which will be more than swallowed up by the extra walking incurred because the stops will be further apart than those of normal buses.

We don’t have room on our Leeds roads for yet another form of bus, one which doesn’t do anything which a normal electric bus or hybrid bus couldn’t do, one which does not integrate with other forms of transport like a normal electric bus or hybrid bus could do, yet costs a multiple of each of these.

It isn’t a train, it isn’t a tram, and it doesn’t have the advantages these could have - it’s a very, very expensive bus tied to definite streets because of the overhead wires.

There are ways by which people could be enticed out of their cars, but trolleys are not one of them.

Plant more trees in city

N Bywater, Morley

In response to Barry David’s letter about the felling of much loved trees.

Leeds City Council should be planting new tree saplings in all areas of Leeds. Trees help to make areas a better place to live, and improve peoples health.

We are a rich nation, our health and happiness should be at the forefront of our council’s thinking.

Planting trees is no easy thing, the council should involve local people. How about planting some tree saplings in Magpie Lane, Morley?

They will need to be a good distance away from housing, but planting trees may save on grass cutting costs in years to come.

Are there any other locations suitable for tree planting?

Referendum, not an election

T Maunder, Kirkstall

May I point out that the referendum on EU membership is just that, a referendum. It is not an election.

It therefore follows that it is NOT the role of politicians to try and tell us all what to vote. So get your specious, mendacious, ill - qualified personas off my TV screen and leave me to make my own mind up.

Multitude of hazards

Eric Cudworth, Wakefield

It is good news that the new owners of the Ridings Shopping Centre intend to invest millions in a revamp of the premises.

It would have been even better news if, at the same time, the council’s highways department had announced an improvement in the approach to and exit from the multi-storey car park in George Street.

At busy times and especially during the Christmas period, drivers trying to leave the car park and turn right into George Street face a multitude of hazards.

Their view of oncoming traffic on their right is obstructed by taxis, parked on the double yellow lines outside Morrisons.

Why this illegal practice has been allowed to continue for so long I cannot understand.

There is no alternative but to pull out into the road in order to see round the taxis, while at the same time keeping a sharp lookout for cars coming from the left, whose drivers tend to cut the corner when turning into the car park and pass too close for comfort.

At the same time there are vehicles coming from Thornhill Street and, as if that were not enough, some pedestrians choose to cross the road at that point instead of walking to the controlled crossing just a few metres away.

The reward for successfully negotiating these hazards, is a bumpy ride along George Street, the surface of which is in the disgraceful condition that is all too common in this district.

For these reasons, I avoid the Ridings as much as possible, preferring to take my custom elsewhere, where the parking is free and the exit is hazard-free.

Tackling air pollution

Tompion Platt, Head of Policy & Research, Living Streets

The latest RCP report into UK air pollution highlights the importance of getting more people walking and cycling.

Road traffic is the most significant cause of air pollution and with 39 per cent of journeys under two miles being driven; swapping four wheels for two feet is an easy and effective way to tackle the problem.

The government has a legal duty to protect people from the harmful effects of pollution, which are more likely to affect children and older people.

It must prioritise investment to make our towns and cities safe and attractive so that more people start walking and experiencing the benefits it brings.

It’s good to see the report recommending local authorities be given the power to limit the amount of cars on the road, especially around schools. This results in safer, cleaner and healthier streets for all of us, and would go some way to tackling inactivity levels too.

Very simply - more walking means less air pollution.

YEP Letters: December 16