YEP Letters: July 2

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Time for UK to pull its weight in EU negotiation

Brian Johnston, Burmantofts

So much then for the Prime Minister’s ‘summit’ in Brussels over our demands for a reform of the Treaty of Rome.

Everything is now on hold until December because Brussels was only concerned with the Greek crisis and the mass invasion of hordes of migrants into Europe.

However, on the latter - our objections to free movement around Europe, might now be no longer considered ‘undisputed’ by some EU members wanting to control their own borders.

What is very different from the last referendum in 1975 is the economy.

Then the UK was the ‘sick man of Europe.’ Now the UK is much stronger, showing the way of how to run a successful economy.

So when Cameron eventually comes to the negotiating table, the UK has some clout. We are the EU’s second largest paymaster, one of only ten net contributors.

On trade, only a mere 45 per cent is done with Europe and of that only five per cent of UK businesses actually trade with Europe. So they need us more than we need them.

If tiny Greece, with sheer bloody mindedness can extract so much from a position of weakness from powerful partners, a ‘bullish’ Cameron should be able to do the same from a more powerful position because the last thing Brussels wants is the UK to quit.

Now is the right time for the UK to pull its weight and a lot more self interest at the table would not go amiss.

If little Greece can bluster and frighten Berlin then big Britain has an even bigger punch. But will Cameron bit the bullet? Don’t hold your breath.

A mockery of democracy

D S Boyes, Leeds 13

with news of the rail improvements for the north of England now put back, this new government has done the same as every other before it that I can still remember – either renege on clear manifesto promises or introduce new policies that no-one would have dreamed of voting for in the first place. Conservative, Labour, Lib Dems are all as bad as each other, making a mockery of the democratic process and that’s before you look at the latest lot going in the House of Lords.

It gets to the point for many where they think what is point of voting? I didn’t this time – again – and probably never will.

Would we be better with an autocratic monarchy again with the sovereign choosing his or her own council of ministers? Some may think so.

‘Unavoidable’ parking

Nick Keer, Cottingley

I write in response to the letter of Billiejo Priestley (YEP June 29). Parking on the pavement is more often than not unavoidable. Some pavements are so ridiculously wide they take up more room than road!

Corners at some junctions have been deliberately built-out. Why? It’s utter lunacy and a shambolic waste of public money.

Most traffic, especially buses and HGVs, just drive over these kerbs anyway; I do so myself if I have to. If, or rather when, I come across a car parked partly on the pavement it doesn’t bother in the slightest.

It’s better as it frees up more road space. If I need to walk in the road to get round it I do, but I check it’s safe to do so first. I seem to remember it being referred to as using your common sense.

This lack of common sense, in an age where everyone appears to want wet nursing, is the most common cause of the accidents which Billiejo refers to.

Cars illegally parked on double yellow lines however are the real bugbear of mine, irrespective of parking on the pavement.

And blue badge holders are the worst offenders for this. One even blocked Albion Street in Morley not so long ago causing a bus to wait over 15 minutes. This is wholly unacceptable. And the bus driver certainly had a few strong words for the owner of the offending vehicle upon returning!

Finally, with regard to pedestrian crossings why is it so many are ‘puffin’ crossings? These so-called ‘puffin’ crossings don’t have the flashing green man/yellow light facility of a ‘pelican’ crossing.

With ‘puffin’ crossing the green man changes back to red then for at least ten to 15 seconds everything is red.

Pedestrians who have just walked up think it’s about to change to green, they frustrated when it does not so cross anyway, when they’re halfway across the traffic lights finally change to green and then anyone on the crossing is at risk of being run over.

For everyone’s safety we need all pedestrian crossings to the ‘pelican’ type.

Shock at pink bus adverts

Denise Marsden, Cookridge

Has anyone noticed the adverts which have recently appeared on the front of First buses, in bright shocking pink?

I’m sure they get everyone’s attention, the whole point of an advert, I suppose, but personally I find it really hard to read the bus’ destination or number, which is in pale orange against black.

It was never easy before, but now made much more difficult, especially with the light reflections on the glass. I spoke to an optician, who agreed that the pink is so bright that it apparently can overwhelm the colour receptors in your eyes, and I have pointed this out to First, in the hope that perhaps they might rethink their colour choice.

Meanwhile, however, I vote we should all be issued with a free pair of binoculars, for when several buses come along at the same time.

Otherwise I can see frustration setting in, and more people calling in at the local pub on the way home for a calming gin and tonic! That is, assuming they get on the right bus!

Money tree has been lost

Stephen Clark, Leeds 12

In April this year the Tories found a magic money tree that was able to fund any number of activities, including the upgrades to the Midland Mainline and Transpennine services.

They now appear to have lost this tree. Does anyone know of its whereabouts?

I can’t help thinking that there was something significant about their initial timing – to have available loads of free money from unidentified sources.”