YEP Letters: February 8

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Alarm bells over trolleybus scheme

Bill McKinnon, Leeds 3

Since local government reorganisation in 1974, transport plans affecting Leeds have been devised not by Leeds, but by the regional transport authority Metro, which is governed by councillors from Leeds and the four neighbouring towns.

Metro made the decision to pursue the current Leeds trolleybus scheme in November 2006 when its chairman was Bradford councillor and lifelong trolleybus enthusiast, Stanley King.

During the 1960s, Stanley King led an unsuccessful campaign to reverse Bradford Council’s decision to scrap the Bradford trolleybus system. The reason he became a councillor in 1970 was to try to prevent the Bradford trolleybus system being scrapped.

On the 26th March 1972, the final day of trolleybus operation in Bradford, he gave a speech in which he described the trolleybus as “the finest mode of transport ever devised.”

For over 30 years, Councillor King was Bradford’s representative on the Metro board.

Following Metro’s decision to pursue a trolleybus scheme for Leeds, ‘Buses’ magazine editor Alan Millar wrote about Metro: “It has a thing about trolleybuses. The Bradford connection was ensured by immediate past PTA chairman Stanley King, a Bradford Conservative and an enthusiast - in all senses of the word - for the mode. He has never given up on the dream that they could run again. And over the past 20 years, Metro has plugged away at projects to run modern trolleybuses in Bradford and Leeds.”

Metro has spent the last ten years as well as all of the 1980s trying to revive a mode of transport which was scrapped everywhere in the UK because it couldn’t compete with cheaper-to-run motor buses.

This raises serious questions about the way that the authority makes decisions.

Will a rejection by central government of this latest trolleybus scheme finally set alarm bells ringing in the town halls of West Yorkshire or will it be business as usual at Metro?


Rail ticket idea

Martin J Phillips, Leeds 16

The idea of scrapping paper train tickets is unlikely ever to see the light of day.

The assumption is that everybody has a ‘smartphone’ which is not the case.

I doubt any rail company would turn away potential passengers just because they don’t possess a mobile phone.

Will an EU exit be instant?

Rodger Calvert, by email

We are hearing and reading a lot about the EU referendum etc. When we get the vote, be it this year or next, should the vote go for us to withdraw will this be instant or will it take as long as we have waited to get vote? Because at the end of his time as Prime Minister David Cameron is only looking for next well paid job in the Euro parliament etc. You can read them all better than any book.

Fundraiser was huge success

Coun Judith Elliott MBE, Morley Borough Independent

Groups from the area, with cross party support, came to the call of Terry Grayshon and Christine Hirst when they decided to arrange a fundraising event in Morley Town Hall for the victims of the recent flooding in Leeds.

The well know generosity of Morleians was once again in evidence with a wonderful atmosphere of camaraderie in the Morleian Hall.

Congratulations to Terry, Christine and all who worked with them to make this event a huge success.

Fantastic support from Yorkshire

Jon Barrick, Chief Executive, Stroke Association

I am writing to say a huge thank you to everyone in Yorkshire that has run, swam, walked, abseiled, hopped, held their breath or baked for the Stroke Association over the last year.

We have seen some fantastic support and recently saw the Royal Mail team in the region complete 5k runs, wash cars, play in cricket tournaments and Bubble Football matches to help raise an incredible £1 million. It is a fantastic achievement and we are so grateful.

Every year there are around 152,000 strokes in the UK - that is one every 3 minutes and 27 seconds.

Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer, more men than prostate and testicular cancer combined, and is the number one cause of long-term severe disability.

But thanks to the millions of pounds raised by our supporters and charity partners, like Royal Mail, the Stroke Association has been able to support stroke survivors in their life after stroke and invest in ground breaking research.

Since September 2014, Royal Mail staff have been raising money so that we can continue to provide Life After Stroke Grants to stroke survivors and their families across the country at a time when they need us the most.

These grants help survivors take their first steps back into the community. We will be continuing to work with Royal Mail over the next year to raise a further £1 million to fund up to 10,000 recovery and activity grants.

On behalf of stroke survivors and their loved ones, I would like to say thank you to Royal Mail for their time, commitment and support.