YEP Letters: February 4

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Electric for the north rather than HS3 rail

James Bovington, Horsforth

I NOTE with interest the call from the vice-chancellor of Leeds Beckett University for rapid improvement to regional rail infrastructure which would complement our region’s success in higher education so that Yorkshire can compete more effectively on the global stage.

Professor Price correctly cites competitor cities such as Lyon in France as having invested heavily in rail networks.

However I am concerned that too much emphasis is being placed on speeding up connections between major cities to the detriment of worthwhile projects within major urban areas.

Hence my preference would be not to spend money on the proposed HS3 scheme which might cut the Leeds to Manchester journey time by a quarter of an hour but rather to use available funds for a range of projects such as the complete electrification of the majority of the northern rail network, reopenings where justified and new central area links such as a link between the two Bradford stations and a new line to Leeds-Bradford Airport.

The jewel in the crown of course would be twin rail tunnels under the centre of Leeds which would allow for new underground stations at a variety of major traffic objectives such as the city’s universities.

Seamless interchange between municipal trams and regional electric trains would benefit all passengers including students and pensioners rather than just the few who can afford the high fares needed to pay for unnecessary new infrastructure such as the New Lane station and the folly of a new tunnel under the Pennines.The Lyon approach was to serve the high speed station with an underground municipal metro network using trams and trolleybuses where necessary to complement the metro.

By his refusal to investigate the possibility of such a system and his promotion of the third rate trolleybus as a transport panacea, Metro chairman Councillor James Lewis shows that he simply doesn’t understand what is needed to catapult Leeds into the European big league. What a shame for our potentially great city.

Out of order to attack charity

Michael Meadwocroft, Pudsey

The Conservative Prisons Minister, Andrew Selous, has plumbed new depths.

Faced with a report from the Howard League for Penal Reform showing that there were three suicides in 2014 at each of two prisons in the region, rather than accepting the evidence and committing himself to take action on it, he instead chose to accuse the charity of “trying to use this loss of life for their own campaigning purposes.”

With its well-respected reputation covering almost 150 years of work on penal reform, the Howard League does not need to be “misrepresenting the situation in our prisons for their own ends”.

Its long record speaks for itself and the Minister has picked the wrong target.

I am reminded of the note in the vicar’s sermon notes: “Argument weak – bang the pulpit.”

Free speech ban in UK for years

Terry Watson, Adel

On his latest showboating trip to America to boost his image as a world leader, David Cameron said that free speech was sacrosanct and “in a free society we should have the right to cause offence to other religions”.

He obviously chose to forget about Political Correctness, which has banned free speech in Britain for years.

Blair and his obsession with multiculturalism encouraged the PC Gestapo to put minority religions first and to forget that 70 per cent of the British population are Christian.

This led to the downgrading of Christmas illuminations so that they had nothing to do with the most important day in the Christian calendar, the birth of Christ.

Flying the Union flag from public buildings was limited to 15 days a year, in case it caused offence to minority religions. You couldn’t make it up!

The BBC, the most enthusiastic PC enforcers in the world, recently refused to interview a black man because he was wearing a scarf with a golliwog on it.

He was told to remove it, he refused, so the interview was cancelled.

School teachers enforce PC enthusiastically. Some four and five-year-old children have been branded racist and homophobic for using words in the playground which they probably don’t know the meaning of.

They should spend more time doing what they are paid to do, educating our children. The British taxpayers are offended when we are placed so low in the world’s education league table.

Cameron said recently “We should drop all this green c**p”. More importantly, he should ban all PC c***p.

Coachworks information

Paul Fox, Sheffield

MIGHT ANY of your readers have knowledge of the long defunct business, Lockwood & Clarkson high class coach and motor works, that traded mainly from premises in Barclay Street just north of Sheffield city centre?

Briefly during the First World War, they built bodies on a few pioneering trolley bus chassis, the latter assembled by the Railless Electric Traction Company at Balm Road in Hunslet.

I would be especially interested to contact any descendants of Fred Lockwood and James Clarkson, who were running the business at the time.

They appear to have done so until the late 1930s, early 1940s when the Lockwood & Clarkson name disappears from the trade directories.

I would be especially interested to hear any recollections, information or photographs of their forebears’ coach building in Leeds?

I can be contacted by post at 113 Tinker Lane, Walkley, Sheffield S6 5EA.

My telephone number is 0114 266 3173.

Right to own a gun with licence

David Daniel, Leeds

IN reply to the call from Aled Jones of Bridlington for the right to bear arms for personal protection (Your Feedback, January 16), the law states that every UK citizen over the age of 18 who is not a convicted felon has the right to own a licensed shotgun.

YEP Letters: April 16