YEP Letters: January 15

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Use empty cardboard boxes instead

John Hein, by email

Am I being unduly cynical at the support from retailers for compulsory plastic bag charging? Apart from the few companies who claim to donate this income to charity, the rest will be laughing their way to the bank!

More to the point would be to allow customers to use the empty cardboard boxes in which products have been delivered to the shop. My local supermarket used to have piles of these freely available at the checkout and plastic bag use was minimal as a result.

Nowadays, these have to be disposed of by retailers at vast cost – surely far better for them to be taken home and disposed of by customers as domestic waste at no cost to traders?

Drivers could be fined for splashing people

Motorists have been warned they could face a £5000 fine for splashing pedestrians by driving through puddles. The issue was thrown into the spotlight this week after reports that a careless driver ploughed through a 20ft puddle soaking a mum with a pram and another child. The incident led police to issue an appeal to find the driver and warned that they could face a fine of up to £5000. The incident happened in St Ives in Cornwall but the fine could apply to anyone in England and Wales based on a national law. The Road Traffic Act 1998 states that it is illegal to drive ‘without reasonable consideration for other persons’ which includes ‘driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed’. The offence can lead to a maximum fine of £5000. We asked YEP readers for their views and here’s what some of them said on social media...

Hannah Heald

Who is going to enforce this though? I find it highly unlikely that action would be taken upon my saying the incident happened. This has happened numerous times to me. I often question whether some drivers even notice pedestrians.

Cheryl Bainbridge

It’s hard enough to get more serious things sorted let alone this.

Rachel Coates

Hasn’t it always been the case? Comes under driving without due care and attention. If the obstruction or puddle is on your side the obligation is on you to slow down or stop even to avoid splashing a pedestrian. It’s tough especially with potholes etc but equally tough if you get soaked by a passing car.

Sonya Hampton

In a way, and I do drive with drive with due care and attention, but often the roads are so wobbly and potholed, especially in the suburb I live in, that to drive with due care and attention for pedestrians means I have to drive down the middle of the road to avoid puddles. And that’s not so cool and attentive for other drivers coming towards me.

Pete Mitchell

The councils should be issued £5,000 fine for allowing the drains to get blocked... why should us drivers have to swerve, go right over to the other side of the road or slam on hard putting other road users at risk just so that pedestrians don’t get splashed? Sometimes it just can’t be helped though but if council did their job correctly then this wouldn’t happen as much.

Ross Boyle

I splashed a woman with a baby in a pram a few years ago. It was totally by accident as it was at the other side of a speed bump and I didn’t see it. Needless to say she wasn’t happy. Would that mean they’d fine people £5k for accidents too?

Wayne Wilson

Just another way of trying to squeeze money out of us drivers, not that we don’t pay enough tax as it is. If they paid more attention to the roads instead of these stupid cycle lanes then they would not have to worry about puddles.

Jon O’Leary

Up there with the most ridiculous things of all time. We’re experiencing a crime wave and they come up with this.

Beverly Golesworthy

Should apply to bus drivers too, well known they delight in drenching us poor pedestrians.

Carla Boyle Robert Scales

Sort the drains out and roads so there’s no puddles. Government gets enough to sort it out.

Sonya Hampton

I think councils should be fined for the potholes that trap the rain in the first place. Challenge is on – driving as slowly as a snail to avoid splashing pavements.

Scott Howieson

Splash for cash.

Action needed on speed signs

Cynthia Whitworth, Leeds 15

I read with interest the article about the speed limit violations in Chapel Allerton.

It would seem that this issue could be somewhat more widespread.

I live on Penda’s Way in Crossgates. This is a road through a fairly busy area with several buses an hour going each way.

As with Chapel Allerton, the 20mph speed signs are displayed at each end of the road but in an elevated position where they are difficult to see. I have lived here for many years and am a car driver but I only recently became aware of them. Traffic along this road, including buses, goes at unbelievable and unsafe speeds.

Whilst all the minor roads in the area have clearly displayed 20mph signs on lampposts at reasonable intervals and heights, there are none on our road other than at each end. Our road is approximately three quarters of a mile long and has several side roads joining it.

I approached our local councillor about this only to be advised that additional signs were not provided due to the fact that we have speed bumps every 100 yards.

These, incidentally have been in place for many years, are well worn and do nothing to slow traffic at all.

It seems that the council are unwilling even to ensure that the speed limit is properly displayed, so what chance is there of slowing traffic and increasing safety? Does there have to be a serious accident before they will do something?

Concern over pavement obstructions

Hayley Grocock, Chief Executive Officer, Wakefield District Sight Aid

Further to Rob Atkinson’s column (YEP January 13), we are the only charity in the Wakefield Metropolitan District providing direct services for adult visually impaired people, their families, carers, and sight impairment professionals.

I should like to add our voice to the growing concern around avoidable obstructions on pavements, including improperly parked vehicles. For blind and visually impaired people there is the obvious highlighted risk of colliding with stationary objects but such obstructions can also be very confusing for guide dogs as they are having to deviate from their taught routes. We remain concerned that it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or even killed when having to step out on to the road to get round vehicular obstructions. The most recent statistics (from 2015) indicated that there were around 2,400 blind or partially sighted people living in the Wakefield district. With an ageing population, more people are being diagnosed with visual impairment, many as a result of age-related conditions such as cataracts or macular degeneration, so proper consideration needs to be given to how we tackle this issue.

We understand that roads need to be kept clear to allow for access, particularly for the emergency services to be able to pass through narrow streets unhindered, but would really welcome working together to encourage open dialogue and improve awareness about how drivers can park more considerately and safely, taking all needs into account.

To find out more about the support we offer, please visit or call us on 01924 215555.

Infrastructure not fully used

C V Barton, Burley in Wharfedale

May I make a few observations on the Leeds road congestion problem? How much of the problem is the result of not fully using all transport infrastructure?

Kirkstall Forge station was opened at great expense with an off peak service of one train per hour. This is a disgrace when all Leeds to Bradford Forster Square and Leeds to Ilkley trains should stop.

This would go some way to reducing Kirkstall Road congestion and would help bus punctuality and air quality.

Traffic on Otley Road through Headingley is so bad that the air quality will be poor. However, parallel to this road is the under used Leeds to Harrogate railway.

Headingley station is another wasted transport asset, signage to it is poor, indeed most residents are unaware Headingley has a railway station.

With longer more frequent trains more car drivers could be attracted to rail. A new station is need at Horsforth Woodside on the Leeds Outer Ring Road (railhead for Adel, Lawnswood, Weetwood, Meanwood etc).

Otley people do use Menston Railway Station.

Leeds City Tramways (later Leeds City Transport LCT) solved the problems outlined for bus delays. LCT had a policy of front entrance, centre exit buses, this speeded up loading and unloading.

The Kerching ticket system was encouraged from the 1960s.On boarding a bus one simply put the ticket in a slot in a red box, where a journey was clipped off the ticket and it was stamped with the date, time and machine number.

This system eventually spread to the whole of the West Yorkshire rail network. It was abolished because a new better system was coming - we have not seen it yet. How can contact less payments be quicker?

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