YEP Letters: July 14

Have your say

Check out today’s YEP letters.

Stupid and shortsighted decision

Paul Annis, Meanwood

D BEST of Halton (YEP letters, July 10) complains of hearing too much about the Tour de France, and wishes that the highways department would devote as much time and money to road repairs as they are spending on the Leeds-Bradford Cycle Superhighway.

The development of the cycle superhighway will cost £29m, made up of £18m from the Department of Transport and £11m from local funding (£7.5m from Metro, £3.5m from Leeds and Bradford councils).

By contrast, the budget for road repairs is over £60m. According to Leeds City Council’s Annual Financial Plan 2015/16, page 15 (available online): £35.5m (up to 2017/18) will be spent on maintenance of district roads/streets, together with £24.4m, to maintain principal roads and bridges/structures, and an additional £2m transferred into bridges for some high priority work.

D Best calls motorists “road tax payers”. Road tax was in force in the UK from 1920 to 1937, when it was abolished.

Since then drivers have paid Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), which is based on vehicle carbon emissions, and is not used to pay for roads. (The small amount of money collected for VED goes nowhere near covering the cost of the environmental damage caused by emissions.)

Roads are paid for out of general taxation. Pedestrians and cyclists use all public roads other than motorways by right.

Motorists, by contrast, 
have to meet various requirements (licence, insurance, VED, MOT) to be accorded the privilege of driving on them.

Unfortunately George Osborne has in his July budget announced that from 2020 every penny collected for VED will go into a roads fund to pay for maintenance.

This is stupid and shortsighted. The money collected from VED will have no relationship to the cost of maintaining the nation’s roads, which will still be paid for almost entirely out of general taxation.

Terminal is ‘dismal place’

M M Simpson, by email

I HAVE read with interest recent comments on Leeds Bradford Airport.

I live fairly close to the 
airport but do not use it, 
much preferring to use Manchester.

The position, and associated weather, of the airport is partly the problem.

I did use it twice but having walked across the bleak forecourt to the entrance in a heavy shower, having walked some distance to the aircraft in the freezing cold February wind, having sat in the plane on the asphalt for half an hour with the doors open and the wind whistling through the cabin, having had to go out into the hostile elements on return to get a taxi, and then being abused because I only wanted to go to Yeadon, I decided comfort outweighed convenience.

The terminal is also a dismal place with few amenities and no outside view.

There is very little seating except in the bar area, which even in the early morning is full of noisy, heavy drinking men.

Hardly worth a large investment in its present position.

Change venue for this run

John Turner, by email

Re ‘Unnecessary road closure for fun run’, Kirkstall, July 12. Yet again, the folk of Leeds have to suffer poor bus services and diversions for motorists when charity fun runs are foisted upon us undemocratically by Leeds City Council.

I spent an extra half hour going to the wrong locations for buses that went the wrong way today ! Many motorists had to take diversions - using extra fuel, being kept away from roads they pay for the upkeep of!

The bus operating companies will have lower revenue and probably have legal grounds for suing LCC for loss of revenue. Perhaps worst of all, the noble runners will be damaging their leg joints running on a hard surface. They would be better off running on grass – somewhere like Roundhay Park for example, or one of the specially designed running tracks available in the Leeds district. Please can LCC change the venue for this event in future years?

Like cycling on marbles

Martin J Phillips, Cookridge

After reading their letter in the YEP (July 9), it is quite obvious that City Connect knows nothing about cycling or walking.

Any cyclist will tell you that the surface they are putting on the canal towpath – asphalt topped with tar and chippings – is just about the worst surface for cycling on.

The chippings they have used on the towpath are more like pebbles and are even worse than normal chippings when they work ‘loose’. It’s like trying to cycle on marbles. No wonder some of my friends have had accidents.

I hope City Connect have taken insurance to pay for all the injuries this surface will create.

Who on earth would prefer to go for a rural walk on chip-covered asphalt than on a path made of natural material? People may as well go walking on the side of a road.

Irritating tennis hand signals

Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown

Watching the men’s doubles final at Wimbledon,I can understand the hand signals behind the players back and the hands covering their mouths in order that their opponents dont know their intentions.

What I don’t understand is the touching of hands after every stroke whether they 
win the point or not. Very irritating.

Country is one party state

Paul Hill, Lancaster

Protestations regarding Government policy are of no use whatsoever, I don’t think the penny has dropped yet, this country is now virtually a one party state.

Following the election the changes in Scotland and the electoral boundary changes 
to come will keep the Tory party in power for decades to come.

So protest as you may it will all be for nothing, one party states do not recognise criticism, they legislate in their interests only.

In the case of the present government it’s wonderful for those with the broadest shoulders the rest will be left behind.

Remember the slogan “we’re all in this together”?