YEP Letters: January 30

A smart motorway

Check out today’s YEP letters

Drivers have been warned that they will be caught and fined by speed cameras at all times of the day on the new smart M1. They will be issued with fines for travelling above the 70mph limit on the M1 - 24 hours a day. The fines can be issued even where there is no variable speed limit in place on the motorway as police warn they are intent on ‘catching speeders’. We asked YEP readers for their views and here’s what some of them said on social media.

Alex Blow

The only reason it’s 70 is because there’s really old cars that have terrible stopping distance. Get these off the road and up the limit to at least 80. Still safe and much more reasonable.

Robert Britton

I’ll be amazed if anyone manages to get above 30mph, on a daily basis on the car park that is the M1. M1 and M62 have to be the most frustrating motorways in the UK. 50mph speed limits for miles and miles but no real reason. And they have the cheek to call them “smart”.

Neil Leete

In what context do you define speeding? 70mph is an archaic speed for these modern times on a motorway where there are no pedestrians, junctions, sharp bends and everyone is travelling in the same direction at a similar speed.

Accidents are more likely caused by poor driving, poor lane discipline, lack of indicator use and poor vehicle maintenance, don’t see many fines for that because it’s to difficult to police. Lane hogging is supposed to be an offence, never seen it enforced once.

Adam Hopkins

The 70mph was introduced in the 60s in direct relation to the capabilities of the car at the time. Technically has moved on significantly and as such should be looked into. Look at the German model.

Andrew Fieldhouse

They want to start 
prosecuting the idiots who don’t know how to drive on motorways particularly those who don’t know how to approach off slip roads onto a motorway.

Last week I witnessed one driver actually stop at the end of the slip road off the M18 onto the M1, nearly causing a pile-up.

Gareth Stothard

How will making people go slower help with congestion? This is just an extra tax on the motorist.

By all means fine the idiots weaving in and out of traffic at 100mph but if someone is doing 75 at 3am on an empty motoway then they are hardly a bad driver.

All about money, nothing else.

Neil Purdon

There’ll be no one left with a driving licence. Smart motorways are a good concept but as usual pounced on by councils to raise money using the facade of safety and even ‘environmental concern’.

Spend money on police patrols again to stop the idiots if safety is the concern instead of fines for safe drivers going 75 or 80.

Granville Wilkinson

I think you will find that this will be more dangerous. Because you will have wagons doing the maximum 90kph which translated is roughly 58mph. They will be taking up two lanes doing their overtaking. So that will leave one lane for everyone else. Until they open the hard shoulder and then slow everyone down to 50/60 mph. Statisically motorways are the safest roads to travel on. But you don’t have to be Einstein to realise that motorists are being used as a cash cow once again!

Braden Reynolds

The 70mph speed limit was brought in in 1965. Over 50 years ago. Cars are completely different machines now. Look at autobahns in Germany, they have much fewer accidents. It’s a money making scam.

Andrea Smith

You could be doing 70 on the dot and a slight gust will push you over for a few seconds. Also, to balance at 70 means occasionally going slightly over and below. This is nothing but blatant profiteering, and people will be forced to stick safely at around 65, causing more impatient overtaking and more accidents.

Debra Creasser

It will be fines for going under 40 miles an hour next. They would make a fortune on implementing that on motorways because of traffic volumes and speed restrictions it would be another money spinner.

Christine King

So. We’ve a speed limit set in the 70s – cars are stronger, more reliable and brake better than then. Preventing someone from doing 75 at 4am on a completely empty road will “reduce delays”. Will it? Delays are happening at times of the day when even 50mph is a unattainable dream. This is pure revenue generation, and will be more dangerous as people will be concentrating more on the speedo than on a road probably built to at least 90mph spec.

Ian Needham

Another way to get more out of the motorist, I believe that speed limits should be adhered to in busy traffic but a scheme to alter the upper limit when traffic is slack should be brought in. Cars are safer, roads are safer, it’s only human error that spoils the equation.

It would be a good idea to bring motorway driving into the car test to educate drivers to drive safely at motorway speeds.

Mike Holt

Like it or not, the maximum speed limit in this country is 70mph. If you don’t want to be fined, don’t speed. Simple. You cannot pick and choose the laws you want to obey. It will only be a money making exercise if and only if drivers choose to speed.

Al Heeley

I’d be happy to see the German system on motorways where they have quiet, 
straight sections allowing much faster top speeds, but when road conditions are poor, or busy the restrictions come in and drivers are more disciplined about slowing up and paying attention than we are over here.

We need more penalties for the middle-lane hoggers! These ignorant and selfish drivers clog up the motorways more than us having to slow down a few mph.

Donna Mercieca-Gabriele

Yes it is a money making scheme, but naive as this sounds, how about just don’t go above the speed limit?

City regions favoured way to devolution

Lionel Pyrah, Normanton

With 18 out of 20 councils now supporting a ‘One Yorkshire’ devolution model, it hardly bodes well for a Leeds City Region alternative concept hereabouts (One Yorkshire Devolution, YEP, January 23).

However, the report mentioned the Government ‘ would not support any agreement that undermined the Sheffield City Region devolution deal’ signed in 2015 but, as yet, not implemented. It seems, therefore, that the Government is suggesting to the ‘Yorkshire 18’ (rightly, in my view), that city regions for Leeds and Sheffield would be its preferred choice to deliver greater prosperity to the Northern Powerhouse.

It should also be borne in mind that six English city regions are already in place with their mayors, and appear to be working well.

Moreover, these regions will also benefit from the recent Budget to the tune of £850,000, awarded to tackle transportation and other issues, whereas Leeds will have to bid against other English cities for a share of a similar amount granted by the Chancellor.

On the wider issue of the financial allocation of nearly £1billion of extra money over 30 years for each of the city regions, I fail to understand why Leeds City Council in particular, on behalf of its region, has seen fit not to take up this offer.

If the allocation to Yorkshire is to be more or less the same, Leeds won’t have enough to buy a cup of tea!

Therefore, let common sense prevail; take the city region route.

Join the British Polio Fellowship

David Mitchell, National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship

We would like to invite those who have been affected by Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) in Yorkshire and the Humber, to join our charity.

The British Polio Fellowship provides support services to all our members and we are constantly looking for new ways to help those with PPS live independent lives.

In addition to the support you can receive through our central office, we have branches in Leeds; Dewsbury; Sheffield; Hull; Halifax; and Wakefield & District, all across the Yorkshire and Humber region.

At the branch meetings, you can join other polio survivors at regular intervals throughout the year, with active welfare and fundraising teams that provide essential support and fellowship for members.

The charity offers many services and the timetable for 2018 is packed with awareness days; campaigns; and social events. Membership includes our famous in-house magazine the bulletin.

This invitation is also aimed at tackling the loneliness epidemic engulfing the UK, with three quarters of older people lonely. It doesn’t have to be this way.

The British Polio Fellowship already has a member base of around 10,000 people but in the UK alone there are 120,000 people who may have PPS.

You are not alone, and for a very modest fee you can become part of our local, regional and national support network.

Our membership comprises of people who have gone through the same situations and would love to meet you.

The new year is all about new beginnings, so why not resolve to contact us today, and let us see if we can help you.

If you want more information, or to join one of our Yorkshire & The Humber Branches, contact the British Polio Fellowship on 0800 043 1935 or visit https://britishpolio.org.uk/join-us/

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