YEP Letters: January 4

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Economy based on wing and a prayer

Philip Crowther, by email

I despair at our government and naval gazing opposition when they keep up the pretence of jam tomorrow.

All the signs tell me that the national economy is based on a wing and a prayer when more and more heavy industries such as coal and steel are being decimated with their associated job losses throwing a generation of people on the scrapheap.

We are told our economy is out-stripping many other countries but it seems to me is based on the public buying foreign imports on mass, the so called invisibles of banking and insurance and a fact mentioned all to infrequently, export figures too low for a so called major trading nation.

Add to this the public borrowing requirement already exceeding predictions caused apparently by the over generous overseas aid budget and we have a recipe for possible economic catastrophe down the line.

Our competitors must be laughing their socks off as we have to buy coal for the next 20 years and steel forever at the prices and terms they can dictate whilst their own sensible governments support these industries for strategic and economical reasons.

Meanwhile the Northern Powerhouse myth continues to be used by the posh boys in the cabinet and other local apologists and sympathisers to keep the natives quiet. The recently announced vast spending on rail services is eagerly awaited, but don’t hold your breath.

Arriva, deemed unfit to have a contract not too long ago, in lieu of Northern Rail is just that, a name change and repaint, which is what we will see first as trains gradually are sent in for maintenance.

As for new local trains, if the last decade and more has not provided the government purchase and train company leasing of new units why should we believe anything will change. As for 125mph running on the transpennine route, that I believe is smoke and mirrors. In 2018, the new Inter City Express units are due to be introduced - made in Italy because successive goverments have allowed British train building to disappear - for the Great Weastern and East Coast Routes at which time the 1970s high speed units will cascade down to secondary routes.

So yes, the transpennine will have 125mph units but unable to run at that speed due to the lines geography and short overall distance between stops.

Only electrification with all the accopmpying new signalling and line amendments plus new trains will create any benenfits to all northern routes and achieving that is many years away. Until then crush hour and expensive fares will continue.

Until our governments and oppositions start to work for the people of this country instead of their parties first and the PM stops acting like a president with one eye on the world stage and their legacies, we, the pepeople will always pay for their mistakes in more ways than one.

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Mail: Appeal to logical thinking

Derek Goodman, by email

As someone who used to deliver parcels and packets for Royal Mail at one time, let me put Ann Squires’ worries ‘to bed’ (YEP Letters December 22). In all my time I have never heard of a rule that says we could not use doorbells, or any other legitimate way to attract the attention of customers so a delivery could be made.

I did however note that up to 40 per cent of doorbells did not work or could not be heard. So my strategy was to ring the bell and knock on the door.

Because there are 27 million delivery addresses in the UK and everyone has a different take, I have had the following statements made. “Bit pushy/rushy ain’t you? No need to do the bell and the door”, “Well done you realised the doorbell didn’t work” (no I didn’t!), “You should have realised the doorbell didn’t work” (how?).

Let me appeal to logical thinking, when I loaded my van in the morning mine and my colleagues main aim in life was to deliver as many as possible on the first ‘sweep’.

Walking endlessly round neighbours who weren’t in or refused to take it because they didn’t get on with them, and then spending time filling in cards was a total waste of my time.

Leaving on doorsteps and in bins is a disciplinary offence, although I can’t vouch for other carriers as I have seen them leave them all over, and on occasion been blamed for it.

Filling in cards taking the parcels back to the office, handing them in, and having to re-deliver them usually on a Saturday morning was never my ideal solution to getting finished on time. Either on that day or the Saturday.

From a business point of view, providing storage for non delivered parcels, staff to answer the phone, staff to check ID and hand them out or time and fuel to re-deliver the item means that the wafer thin profit margin in today’s competitive market is non-existent.

Most post persons are now shareholders why would they want to drive down profits and dividends? All the rumours about not knocking or just taking cards out is street myth and absolute rubbish.

The win, win, win solution is that the parcel is taken out, it is delivered first time, this suits the customer, the delivery person and the company.

Logically speaking why would anyone purposely want or design to do anything other than that?

Think about it who does that advantage?

Katya Jones with her celebrity partner Joe McFadden

YEP Letters: December 9