YEP Letters: July 13

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Access to aircraft is a ‘nightmare’

Mrs V Johnson, Leeds 16

I agree completely with everything that Lindon Dove says in his letter (YEP July 12), particularly with regard to access to and from an actual aircraft.

It is a nightmare, passengers have to go up and down staircases, it is a long walk to and from the terminal building along draughty, dank walkways (particularly unpleasant if arriving on a late evening flight) no escalator or walkways, for the elderly it can be a very daunting experience.

It really is time that the airport management looked seriously into the provision of aircraft boarding and disembarking facilities that are more appropriate to a modern airport.

Devolution delay could be disastrous

Lionel Pyrah, by email

Having regard to the Yorkshire devolution issue, we hear a Government minister has suggested that the county ‘needs to get its act together’ if it is to follow in the footsteps of those English regions now taking advantage of Whitehall’s cash bonanza.

The minister is right, in my view, as delay may well prove disastrous for those areas of the White Rose county now playing catch-up.

It has also been indicated that a decision on devolution in these parts is expected by December. Let’s not hold our breath! Two months ago, the city regions of Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham (under the guise of West Midlands) also elected their respective mayors; I firmly believe that within the next 10 years, these regions will have turned into ‘mini-Londons’, becoming ‘cities’ in their own right.

Hereabouts, the Sheffield City Region is likely to join them in its quest for civic enlargement later this year, but what of the Leeds City Region?

It is absolutely essential the correct decision is made by our negotiators to ensure the LCR experiences the same outcome as the above-mentoned cities.

Moreover, such a move would not inconvenience the rest of Yorkshire; on the contrary, Lancashire, for example, is hardly likely to drop through the economic grate as a consequence of Liverpool and Manchester departing the fold!

Indeed, the Red Rose county should, arguably, gain welcome spin-offs due to increased investment in the their two largest city areas.

However, and more importantly, the LCR will be cut adrift from its counterparts if it fails to grasp this golden opportunity to enrich its well-established commercial, industrial and culural heritage.

Passengers want modern railway

Alan Chaplin, Managing Director, Northern

I write in response to the letter from the TUC’s regional secretary Bill Adams (YEP July 12).

After years of underinvestment, Northern is working to introduce the biggest rail upgrade for a generation. Everything is centred on quality – new trains, faster journeys, more services, improving customer service and maintaining high safety standards.

Our £580m investment programme in 98 new trains is accelerating at pace. The first new trains will operate from 2018, refurbished trains are now appearing across the network, and the feedback from customers has been positive. Our £60m station improvement programme is continuing and by the end of this year, 111 stations are on track to be upgraded.

Since April 2016, we have created 460 new jobs. Northern is a strong business which is about investing in people and modernising. It is not about de-staffing a railway which plays such a vital role in the region’s economy.

In terms of our discussions with RMT, we have said many times that there will be no job cuts if we can reach an agreement with the union. Our staff have just had a 2.6% pay rise. We want to make frontline staff more visible and available than ever before – helping and supporting customers. It is these types of key discussions we want to have with our union colleagues over Driver Controlled Operation – a method of train operation which is widely used safely across the UK and Europe.

Far from living in a ‘fantasy land’, as Mr Adams suggests, we are living in the real world where we know what passengers want and are already on the road to delivering the modern railway they crave.

Anyone for tennis?

Martin J Phillips, Leeds 16

If there was ever a good reason for backing Brexit it is that we could ban the stupid clapping that Wimbledon spectators seem to have adopted from tennis tournaments on the continent. The spectators now seem to start up at every possible opportunity. Why? Is the tennis so boring that they have to find something else to stop them falling asleep?

Pray for baby Charlie

Edna Levi, Leeds

Along with the thousands of people worldwide, the tragedy of baby Charlie Gard and his wonderful parents is in my mind but there some continuing matters that I find disquieting at this time.

Firstly the devoted nursing staff of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital must have a sense of sorrow due to other parents with sick children having to make their way through media phortographers surrounding the entrance and demonstrators shouting nearby, no matter how justified they may feel.

Secondly, even though they mean well, some of these overseas doctors who have offered their help, refer to the treatment as “experimental”. As some have not ever performed it before, I think the right word is “experiment”. However regardless of anything, let us all pray for this little boy.

Sovereignty is beyond price

John Wainwright, by email

When people run out of arguments to support their opinions they frequently resort to mudslinging instead.

So it is with EU acolyte John Cole when he gleefully recites a YouGov poll implying that the majority of the clever people (amongst whom he probably includes himself) voted Remain, whilst the majority of the numpties voted Leave.

The majority of his self-selected intelligentsia demanded that Britain join the exchange rate mechanism (ERM) which ended with the catastrophe of Black Wednesday in September 1992. Undeterred they then demanded that we join the Euro, and we’ve all seen what a mess that has become - thankfully without UK membership, so spare me the opinions of the ‘clever people’. I believe that the majority of people who voted Leave did so for one overriding reason above all others. The possible economic impact was not uppermost in our minds, but rather we wanted to be once more in control of our own destiny - sovereignty is beyond price.

Time to chip away at gulls

Hilary Andrews, Leeds.

VISITING Bridlington recently with my young grandson, we were appalled and he was terrified when a seagull swooped down and stole one of his chips.

These flying rats were everywhere, soiling bags and clothes and even people’s heads. We wrote to complain to the council in Beverley who replied that, if we go to the seaside, we must expect to see wildlife. In neighbouring Scarborough, complaints have not been dealt with so dismissively. I know which town we will be having our fish and chips in on our next day at the seaside.

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