IN ANSWER to some of the points in your paper about the New Bus for Leeds proposed alternative to the Leeds trolleybus scheme.
One of the key issues not addressed by the promoters is the damaging effect the trolleybus would have on existing bus services that operate on the Headingley route and serve passengers travelling to or from destinations in Leeds beyond the limited trolleybus route.
First very much recognises the need to reduce congestion as this is the main reason why buses are delayed. That is why we have identified congestion hot spots where infrastructure improvements would reduce this, but at a fraction of the cost of the trolleybus.
The New Bus for Leeds would be hybrid with very low emissions, and as technology develops we will move to fully electric powered buses such as are about to be introduced in York. We will have a much greater impact on reducing emissions across the city than the trolleybus when these buses are introduced throughout all of Leeds.
So what are we waiting for? First is currently in negotiations with Metro on a partnership agreement similar to that in Sheffield which has led to significant fare reductions, improved services, and 9 per cent journey growth.
Once that is concluded, we are ready to start introducing new buses, funded by First, and the Oyster style ticketing that will bring huge benefits for passengers across Leeds years ahead of the trolleybus.
There is a real danger Leeds sleepwalks into the trolleybus project not because it is the best scheme for the city, but simply because Government money is there to pay for some of it. That cannot be the right approach to meeting the city’s transport needs.
Dave Alexander, regional managing director, First UK Bus (North Region)
Parking charge in the spotlight
WE READ with alarm your exclusive story (YEP, February 25) about the Government’s plan to introduce charges for car parking at 18 West Yorkshire stations. We call on the Transport Secretary in the strongest terms to think again.
Introducing such charges for parking would punish rail users who are doing the right thing by using public transport rather than contributing to the severe congestion on our roads.
It’s another sign that this out of touch government don’t understand hard-pressed families are struggling with a cost of living crisis – already since David Cameron became Prime Minister average rail fares are up by a fifth, and now he wants to add to those costs even further.
If these plans go ahead they will cause traffic chaos, both adding to commuter traffic and hitting residential areas surrounding stations as commuters seek free on-street parking options.
We are mounting a campaign against these proposals and will be gathering as many petition signatures from rail passengers at the affected stations as possible. We will stand up for hardworking people just trying to get to work without being hit with yet more costs – we’ll fight these charges all the way.
Jamie Hanley (Pudsey), Veronica King (Elmet & Rothwell), Alex Sobel (Leeds North West)
Cold calls are real nuisance
Your consumer watch article re cold calls relating (especially) to those for personal injury was so correct about their nuisance value.
Last week after receiving about 12, I decided instead of just hanging up, to play a stupid game. To the caller who wanted to sell me a conservatory, I said I would be interested but to bring a long ladder as I lived on the tenth floor of an apartment block.
To the caller who had “heard about my car crash” I said “Yes, I have been in a crash but it was a plane crash.”
Needless to say, the calls have not stopped!
Edna Levi, Leeds
Caring for cancer patients
SINCE THE beginning of this year my family has lost two much loved members to Cancer. Amidst all the expected grief and sadness there has been one ray of light and that was the wonderful staff, at all levels, of Wheatfields Hospice in Headingley.
Both our family members were looked after there and the love and care that the staff give to their patients and also the support that they offer to the families often left us speechless. At a time when the “caring” professions attract much criticism it is heartening to come across an organisation which surpassed all our expectations.
Of course Wheatfields is run by the Sue Ryder Charity and I would urge that anyone who is thinking of fundraising, by any means, in the future consider supporting this cause. They are easy to track down on the Internet etc.
Peter Lee, Broad Lane Close, Bramley
Rucksack folk spoil holidays
I HAVE just returned from an enjoyable holiday overseas, but it was somewhat spoiled by what can only be described as the rucksack brigade.
Why do these people have to carry those stupid bags which are only fit for mountain climbing? Both on the plane and train journey back to Leeds they proceeded to bang into most passengers who sit on the aisle seats, as they continue walking down the centre aisle, and passengers were getting hit on the head and shoulders when they were being retrieved from overhead lockers.
I think these people do not consider other passengers at all. These oversized holdalls should be either banned or placed in the baggage departments of the planes and trains, and should not be allowed as hand luggage.
Perhaps these plane and train mountaineers should get a normal flight bag like most normal passengers do.
Do any other readers have problems like this?
Michael Kay, Garforth
Leave outside market alone
HAVING READ the story about Leeds Market (YEP, February 4) I am disgusted with Sue Burgess, the market manager.
It would be interesting to most people who were not aware of what was happening behind the scenes - removing the wall behind the stalls that back on to George Street, replacing the stalls with a display of flowers and plants.
This is taking the livelihoods away from the barrow boys who have served their hundreds of customers for decades, supplying fruit and vegetables.
Ms Burgess also said she had the seats removed because of drunks. Couldn’t she have used the police to remove the drunks and leave the seats for the disabled and elderly? How inconsiderate towards the people of Leeds.
Think again Ms Burgess and leave the outside market to trade as it has for decades. If you plans go ahead the market will be destroyed.
Joe Cooney, Halton, Leeds
Speechless at Rooney wages
I HAVE never in my life been short of a few words, but alas, I am now. Wayne Rooney is going to earn what?! What makes him think he has the right to earn £300,000 a week for playing what I can only describe as a game of football.
An absolute outrage and a disgrace. It is shameful.
Brenda Levett, Rothwell
Pictures add touch of colour
WITH REFERENCE to the picture you published (YEP, February 25) of the mural at Leeds City Station in 1986, it’s a pity they don’t do something like that on the walls going through the inner tunnels to York Road. They are dark and dismal, even in the daytime and utterly depressing. Surely somebody somewhere can make it look better? Beryl Summers, by email