YEP Letters: January 16

The Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth.
The Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

In praise of Parsonage Museum

Jean Bull, Addingham.

AS a life member of the Brontë Society, I would like to commend those involved at the Parsonage Museum at Haworth, who promote the Brontë family.

The bicentenary anniversaries have brought in new audiences because of the vibrancy and creativity of events.

April 2016 started with a party in Haworth, items loaned for exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery and the Morgan Library in New York, and a ceremony in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.

The society is working hard to reach a wider audiences locally, nationally and globally.

Be there to celebrate.

Money should have been spent on park and rides

Phillip Marsden, by email

Coun Wakefield and the WYCA are to be congratulated on the three Leeds park and ride schemes. They are a really practical way of using public money.

However I disagree with Coun Wakefield’s over-optimistic viewpoint on the usefulness of the cycle superhighway (YEP Letters January 11). Whereas the usage of the park and ride can be directly measured by the number of tickets sold, the cycleway usage cannot be directly measured.

Coun Wakefield is suitably vague, “around half a million journeys”. Given that the majority of people who write about the cycleway have seen few or no cyclists on the cycleway, I find it difficult to believe Coun Wakefield’s assertion of half a million.

How is this measured? How long are the journeys? Two miles or 10 yards? He is now grasping at straws by including pedestrians in the figures. Are these figures produced by the usual statistical extrapolation?

Even if a two lane dual carriageway was provided for the sole use of cyclists direct from the outskirts to the city centre in a straight line, with no traffic lights it would not be used to any great degree, and certainly not enough to be useful.

Let us face it, cycling is not a useful method of transport, as most people realise. As a means of leisure, kept away from the roads, yes, but not as a means of transport. The average worker needs to arrive at work in a fit state to do a day’s work, in suitable clothing and not have to change out of the lycra suit and have a shower at work before starting work. There may well be the occasional cyclist who can do his weekly shop in a rucksack, but the average parent with two children is not going to be able to do the weekly shop on a cycle.

The £29 million spent on the cycleway should have been used to provide more park and ride facilities where the return on expenditure would have been much greater. However, the cycleway policy is consistent with the modern world, where the vocal minorities are given preferential treatment, rather than looking after the majority.

RL star will always be remembered

Peter Haddington, Bradford

HOW saddened I was to hear of the passing of one of the finest wingers ever to wear a Leeds rugby league jersey in John Atkinson.

He signed for the club from Roundhay rugby union in 1965, when the late great coach Roy Francis was assembling a youthful back division with pace, with a few experienced players in the team.

Roy Francis was a fitness fanatic who believed in letting the ball do the work. When limited tackles were introduced in 1966 it appeared to suit his open style of play and Leeds finished top of the table for four successive seasons.

John was a large part of this success. He was a lethal finisher and had pace to burn. He was part of one of the finest and fastest threequarter lines ever seen at Leeds, which was renowned throughout the league.

John scored many long range tries and scored 340 tries for Leeds in his career. My favourite try however was not a long range effort but was one of the most important. It came at Swinton in a cup semi-final against Wigan when he was up against the formidable Wigan winger the legendary Billy Boston.

He left several Wigan players in his wake before rounding the full back for the opening try in one of Leeds’ finest ever performances. He also scored in each of the Wembley wins in 1977 and 78.

John later teamed up with another speed merchant in Les Dyl in the centre, and many spectacular tries came down the left flank. He formed one of the finest ever wing pairings seen at Leeds with Alan Smith who was another lethal finisher.

John was also part of the last Great Britain team to win a series against the Aussies back in 1970 scoring twice in the decider against Sydney Sadly towards his latter years John’s health was a problem and unfortunately he is no longer with us.

I did however have the pleasure of meeting John on several occasions before his illness and found him to be a warm and endearing man who enjoyed talking about the game he loved.

I’m sure everyone connected with the game their thoughts are with his family. He will always be remembered.

Clean air plan ‘more holes than a colander’

DS Boyes, Leeds

Isn’t the plan of Leeds City Council on air quality like most others, with more holes than a colander?

How does allowing heavily polluting vehicles to continue entering central Leeds in exchange for a ‘fine’ improve air quality?

Also, the problem is central Leeds, not six miles out where the Outer Ring Road is. Presumably polluting vehicles based and working inside that boundary, not needing to cross it, could in theory carry on regardless without penalty?

The root of the problem is excessive human activity in the city centre caused by too many apartments, shops, bars, restaurants and other leisure facilities all of which draw vehicles in like a magnet. This demand deliberately and systematically exacerbated by Leeds City Council.

With the worst polluting vehicles easily identifiable, surely the way forward would be to ban them from a certain future date, with that moratorium giving operators of buses, HGVs, taxis and private hire cars time time to update their fleets with either new or suitable second hand vehicles.

Currently, the top specification now and for some time to come for diesels is ‘Euro 6’. Which would be the ideal benchmark to use for them all?

Although as we have seen, clearly outdated rules and regulations for hackney carriage taxis versus private hire cars have thwarted one attempt to introduce ‘clean’ electric cars, so also need serious re-examination.