Since more work has been done on the £50bn estimated costing of the High Speed Rail 2, there is now more doubt as to its worth as a new rail line.
Also there, we now have the contemplation of new toll roads, which means more motorways being built and causing more havoc and problems for the country.
Some time ago, because the new M6 toll road was not being used by hauliers, I suggested a period with non payment of the toll to get the traffic moving and getting them used to such a road, still using someone at the toll. It appears this is now going to be tried. At the very least it would cut down on the hold-ups that are caused almost daily on our motorways. If we want to pursue with short sections of toll roads in the future we shall need strict new laws which should ensure that vehicles of a certain size would have to use them.
Frankly the real solution to HSR2 and toll roads should be a 24-hour usage of the railways. Using daytime hours for the normal trains and night time usage for haulage only. It would mean that there would be new stations being built for public use and new container areas built and large new warehouses for shipment of mixed goods and moved out on smaller lorries. It could also mean that more normal trains could be built, everything brought up to scratch and extended.
I doubt that changes of this nature would cost the country anywhere near £50bn. We would have to put more money into the railways and the rest would be invested by industry. This will also help with unemployed, bring prosperity to all concerned and give our industry a kick up the bottom. Who knows, because of the amount of goods we import, it might even get coastal cities that had real shipping in times gone by, but still have harbours with depth enough, to decide they would like to become commercial again.
D Birch, Cookridge
Just a game of musical chairs
DOES anyone any longer believe that one political party is a repository for all that is good, efficient and in the public interest. Not many now.
In our political system we have a game of musical chairs whereby such departments as health, education and transport are regularly subjected to changes at the top with consequent changes in policy and administration. In two years we could have Labour back or a coalition but perhaps with different parties. So the merry-go-round goes on.
Of course departments are run by civil servants who have to keep the show on the road and the idea that an incoming politician can take over and master all the detail is ludicrous. I suspect that if an election were suspended, things would run on and probably better. There was no election between 1935 and 1945 and we contrived to win a war.
It seems to me that this time-honoured set-up has long outlived its usefulness. In fact is its completely discredited and has done great harm to this country with vast waste and pointless upheaval.
I suppose some political element is inevitable but there is certainly scope for what I call a political-lite system. In health and education for instance the political stuff could be soft-pedalled in favour of an apolitical approach.
We already have select committees at Westminster which work on a cross-party consensual basis. The key job at the Bank of England is filled by an independent person. Last time I looked Switzerland were doing all right.
I am aware of the practical difficulties. Half-hearted moves have been tried but do not work. Perhaps when the economy returns to an even keel, we ought to have a Royal Commission on government. Politics as practices at the moment has poisoned our whole public life.
Don Burslam, Dewsbury
Moral crusade over trolleybus
HAVING read the letter pages in your paper and looked at blogs about the Trolley bus, I have to ask the question; have the groups opposed to the Trolley bus been taken over by the Taliban?
The whole tone is one of moral crusade with those in favour of the Trolley bus scheme being seen as infidels out to ruin Headingley and Weetwood.
What exactly is the issue that has got everyone so excited? What is it that about Leeds that anything new is to be feared? Mind you a tram/bus scheme has been on the cards over 30 years so not so new. There are people who are directly affected by the route of the Trolley scheme, some seven households will lose up to four feet of their gardens and I genuinely hope they are well compensated. So what is it about the scheme that is such an issue. Is it the design, is it the wires that power the buses or the landscape design? If it is then I suggest the answer is get involved to improve what’s being put forward.
A substation for the Trolley bus was proposed for a site my company owns and to be honest the design was dreadful. What I did was wrote to Metro and suggested they put the designer of the substation out of his misery.
The result was the scheme for the substation has been radically improved.
I am sorry to say that the almost hysterical crusade against the trolley bus scheme and the half truths about the environment being ruined are counterproductive. The technology behind the trolley bus is simple, effective and well tested. I am afraid that alternatives being forward to avoid overhead wires, like battery or hybrid buses does not wash. People should be honest and focus on the issues and get the best possible result out of what’s on offer.
Peter Connolly, by email
I HAVE heard several MPs, including Ed Miliband, mention nurses when asked how unfair it would be for MPs to be given a substantial pay rise when public sector staff are having pay rises curbed.
How cynical to use nurses as political fodder to gain approval from a watching public who increasingly find politicians tiresome.
You never hear them mention ward cleaners, ward clerks, porters or other ancillary staff so they are obviously using public admiration of nurses for their own ends.
R Kimble, by email
IN REPLY to D & K Ingle’s letter, do they not consider that a lot of pensioners rely on their winter fuel allowance to keep warm, also they need their bus passes to go shopping and socialising.
Obviously if you have your own transport a bus pass is not necessary which D & K Ingle did not specify if they had or not. As regards to the money saved being used to keep the Children’s Heart Unit at Leeds open, this money would probably go back into the coffers of the government and not the LGI.
G Kneeshaw, Morley
It’s not too late
Oh no, not another meeting of a working group to address the problems of Headingley and students and landlords with its unhealthy mix of people over 90 per cent being students.
The cure for all these issues is so simple.
Firstly replace part-time nuisance patrols with full time police officers, with their power to prosecute anti-social behaviour plus ball games throughout the days and nights.
The area is so beautiful with nice people and shops, it would be good to have families return. No! It’s not too late to act.
Name and address supplied
TENANTS living in high rise flats must remove their doormats, so say Leeds City Council, because of fire risk.
The only doormats that need removing are those employed by Leeds City Council.
R Chester, Rothwell
LAST week I had an operation in Lincoln Wing, St James’s Hospital under the care of consultant Mr SN Lloyd.
I want to publicly commend him, the doctors, sisters, nurses and support staff for their skill, care, kindness and never-failing good humour. The staff of wards J42 and J43 are a wonderful team.
The food provided was appetising and I shall regret not being able to finish two of the meals. I should also like to thank the district nurses of Meanwood District Nursing Services who visited my home several times.
Ronald Hewitt, Chandos Avenue, Leeds