YEP Letters: July 16

Have your say

THE idea of relocating the city’s tourist office to a ‘desk under the stairs’ at the art gallery (YEP, July 8), is a terrible one, particularly when it is thought to be one of the busiest centres in the country.

First time visitors to the city, whether here for business or pleasure, often need help to get to places or find transport.

Timetables for all the bus routes in Leeds are provided here, as are a good selection of local rail timetables.

The centre is in an ideal position for the railway station and sells many different things connected with Leeds and Yorkshire, particularly Leeds Pottery.

To be able to purchase tickets for various things in one central place is very useful as it means that it saves time and perhaps money.

I have been in the centre many times to get information about different areas – either for day visits or brochures for other areas – and have heard visitors asking for directions and help.

The centre provides excellent information for not only the Leeds area but the whole of the country and the staff are always busy.

Visitors arriving in Leeds will in future have to be directed from the station to the Art Gallery in order to find information.

I thought that Leeds would want to promote itself, particularly after the Tour de France, so that more visitors come here on holiday.

Margaret Thornton, Barwick in Elmet

Leeds visitors’ centre is in an ideal location next to the railway station.

The art gallery is a long walk for newly arrived visitors trying to find out where to spend their money.

Hopefully, the legacy of the Tour will mean far more visitors coming to Yorkshire.

What is needed is a bigger visitors’ centre not a smaller, less convenient one.

Kathleen Webb, Leeds

Stench of urine on Boar Lane

Walking along Boar Lane in Leeds city centre the other day, I noticed a terrible smell.

It was the unmistakable scent of urine and it was emanating from the shop doorways.

Clearly inebriated revellers over the course of the weekend had decided that this was as good a place as any to relieve themselves – and no one had stopped them.

I recall a few years ago that the council experimented with installing screened urinals known as ‘pissoirs’ (invented by the French, hence the name) along Boar Lane during the weekends.

It would seem that these have now been withdrawn. If so, judging by my experience the other day, now would be a good time to consider reintroducing them.

Perhaps we could even go down the route of Sydney, which is looking to install hydraulic ‘pop up’ urinals that rise up out of the ground as and when required.

After all, this smell isn’t particularly good for the businesses who are left with it, or the image of the city as a whole.

David Edwards, Leeds

All buses should be cashless

I welcome any measure that reduces the time buses dwell at stops, as this benefits both passengers and other road users.

The recent initiative from First encouraging passengers to use a mobile phone app which allows a prepaid ticket to be displayed on a smartphone (YEP, July 9) is to be applauded.

But it goes nowhere far enough. It should be possible to pay standard fares with a contactless credit or debit card on the bus.

At major stops such as at the Corn Exchange or Albion Street there could be pavement conductors or ticket machines, if necessary limited to card payments.

Furthermore, while I will never support the unambitious NGT trolleybus scheme, one positive element of that otherwise flawed project is that drivers will not handle cash. Neither should they on any other buses.

In the same way that Leeds should eventually imitate London and plan for an underground CrossRail train network, we should also follow London’s lead and go for a cashless bus operation.

After all, it’s in London that the upward trend in public transport use has been most noticeable.

So when will a West Yorkshire OysterCard be rolled out?

James Bovington, Horsforth

Cost of RSPCA prosecutions

Sid Jenkins (YEP, July 10) is misinformed about the RSPCA’s prosecutions policy and gives a wholly incorrect description of why and how the Society chooses to bring criminal prosecutions.

The RSPCA did not prosecute any hunt last year because the police or Crown Prosecution Service would not.

None of the evidence in any of the five recent cases the RSPCA has brought involving hunts was ever presented to the Crown Prosecution Service by the police. The simple fact is that the RSPCA prosecuted because it wanted to.

The result of such politicised decision making is clear from the results, with 78 per cent of the charges issued failing in the courts at huge cost to both the taxpayer and the RSPCA.

The real sadness is that this is money that could have been spent on addressing real issues of pressing animal welfare concern rather than ending up in the pockets of expensive lawyers.

Tim Bonner, Director of Campaigns, Countryside Alliance

Puzzling use of day release

I wonder how many other readers were as intrigued as I was by a recent headline which read: ‘Secure hospital patient found, two still missing’ (YEP, June 24)?

It has to be a contradiction in terms, proving the hospital does not match up to its title.

From another standpoint, the repeated number of those who have committed serious offences being installed in open prisons and allowed day release is just as puzzling.

Past absconders who were supposed to pose no risk to the public should never have been put in such places.

Some people are getting things badly wrong and so many times in the recent past the public at large has had to suffer the consequences.

Ernest Lundy, Beeston

Miliband has 
face of sincerity

Labour leader Ed Miliband has been branded a no-no as a future Prime Minister, apparently because he doesn’t look like one.

But they don’t say what a Prime Minister is supposed to look like and I have seen lots of them in my lifetime.

If the next election is to be done on a personality basis, you only have to look closely at Miliband’s face to see that he is sincere in his beliefs and says he means.

It’s a long time since we had some real honesty in both 10 and 11 Downing Street.

Having had a good look at Miliband, have a good look at Cameron.

The mouth says it all: tight lipped like a child who is not getting his own way. There is no real sincerity in the man at all.

He can’t be trusted by the heads of state of the other European Union countries, which is evident every time he tries to get what he wants.

It appears to me that some want the changes we as a country need, but they just don’t trust him enough to believe him.

We might be fed up to the teeth with the administration of the EU but it’s going to take a long time to sort it out.

It can’t ever be a case of in or out. It needs full, honest discussion and dealings with individual countries to find the basis of the full change we all want.

With Cameron we have individualism but no sincerity.

Dennis Birch, Cookridge