YEP Letters: July 21

Clayton Hospital
Clayton Hospital
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Hospital destruction ‘on a whim’

Michelle Brown, Wakefield

I cannot imagine why more people aren’t outraged by the decision of governors of the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School to destroy the old Clayton Hospital on a whim for their own purposes.

The NHS just sold the property to QEGS without apparently putting it on the open market. Was a market price reached? We will never know.

In the spring QEGS had a consultation in which people were asked to choose between destroying 95 per cent of the hospital and 100 per cent of the hospital.

What is the outcome? QEGS has decided to destroy 100 per cent of the hospital! Why did I suspect that would be the outcome all along?

The hospital was given to all the people of Wakefield in the 19th century by a generous, rich benefactor. So fitting that in the 21st it goes to the rich and uncharitable.


Cycle highway design should be revisited

Chris Meehan, Leeds 28

In the often heated debate for and against the new cycle lane linking Leeds and Bradford, the question of its design and ultimate safety is an increasing worry for both road and cycle lane users.

These aspects hit home, quite literally for my wife and I on July 13 when driving back to our home in Pudsey from seeing a schools’ play at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Proceeding within the speed limit along the Canal Road/Armley Road stretch, at around 9pm the setting sun hanging on the horizon presented a formidable and dangerous hazard as we approached the old Marsden factory building, currently in the throes of demolition.

I was completely blinded and disorientated as I attempted to instinctively guide the car through safely, hoping to avoid any obstacles relating to the cycle lane whilst keeping to a fondly remembered once-straight road.

Alas the perceived dog leg created by the new lane resulted in a serious collision with the traffic light intended to control that part of the cycle lane. The car was whipped into a spin, air bags exploding and car wrecked. My wife was injured, although not seriously, and was taken by ambulance to A&E at the LGI where the magnificent medical team gave her first class attention including scans and x-rays.

Our car has been written off and much public and personal cost incurred. The trauma of all this has been somewhat lessened by the help and kindness of strangers; not least the young man travelling behind us who stopped and helped us greatly, and then I cannot speak highly enough of the professionalism of the ambulance medics and the police officers who attended the scene. Though not sought by any means the level of service provided by our public services on this occasion was both impressive and humbling.

I’m given to understand that this is not the first incident of its kind since the building of the cycle highway but I hope the powers that be will take note and revisit some aspects of the cycle highway’s design.

The attempts to turn Leeds and Bradford into a cycling Utopia should not be at the expense of road safety for both cyclists and motorists.

Cycle track confusion

P Spence, Stanningley

I was following a cyclist through Stanningley where the new road layout is now in operation and only relies on the colour of the road surface to indecate that this is a roundabout and is causing confusion to motorists and cyclists alike.

There have been many incidents since it opened, it should be marked in white as detailed in the Highway Code, when in an accident the insurance always ask for details of road markings and in this case there are none!.

Because there is no cycle track in Stanningley I followed the cyclist up to the start of the cycle track thinking he would join it but no, he continued on the road.

Due to the road now being reduced to accommodate the cycle track it was not easy to safely overtake due to traffic comming in the opposite direction so the traffic was controled by the speed of the cyclist.

It is very apparent that the cyclists think the cycle track is an accident waiting to happen!

False memory syndrome?

Richard Gallagher, Guiseley

Again we see in your letter pages some dismissive descriptions of the Prime Minister as “unelected”.

I can only assume that the correspondents concerned have been confused by media coverage of the interminable Presidential election campaigns on the other side of the Atlantic and so have forgotten that the British Prime Minister is the leader of the majority Parliamentary party - just like the new one (and the last one too).

Should we assume that your correspondents are suffering from some version of ‘false memory syndrome’ if they ever recall voting directly for a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Brexit is letting down the UK

John M Collins, Alwoodley

I have disturbed a hornets’ nest!

Mr Wainwright accuses me of saying that the vote to leave was “dictated by the ‘uneducated’”. I did not. It was not. And for Sandra Goldberg’s information, I quoted material published in the national press and never disputed.

Might I state my position. First, when in 1975 we voted to go in (or, as Elisabeth Baker would have it, stay in when we had just agreed to go in), the vote was that of the whole country.

Virtually every area voted strongly yes. This time fewer than 52 per cent voted to leave and huge areas voted solidly to remain, not just London, Cardiff and Edinburgh, but all Scotland and Northern Ireland. The country is divided and there is no compelling mandate to leave.

Secondly, I have rarely voted for a successful candidate, but this was not a general or council election. It was far more important. It involved a complete change in direction for our country.

There ought to be at least a 60 per cent vote for such a decision and those likely to be affected, such as the 16-18 year olds and the expats in Europe, should not be prevented from voting, as happened this time.

Thirdly, the Brexiteers’ cry, “we must get our country back” is moonshine. We have never lost it. We make our own laws. Eighty eight per cent of the EU directives were agreed to by our government. Some were extended by our government.

Our Commissioner at Brussels was busy drafting directives for the EU when the referendum vote forced him to resign.

Fourthly, Mr Meeson complains that we joined a Common Market of nine and now there are 25. On the whole, the EU has been a success. That is why other countries joined it. They chose to. All the more reason to stay in!

But he adds that Farage scare, Turkey will come in “eventually”. No chance of that under the present regime.

Fifthly, how many of your correspondents realise that the country which has done best out of being in the EU is not France, not even Germany, but the UK?

That is why our fellow Europeans are astonished at our cutting off our nose to spite our face.

Sixthly, the overwhelming motive for the leave vote was fear of immigration. That was understandable for those whose jobs were threatened by cheap labour because our government was not cracking down on breaches of our minimum wage laws.

But it was used by Farage and UKIP to create an atmosphere of racial tension and fear which put them and us to shame.

Yet these immigrants are almost all decent hardworking people.

Lastly, I believe in the greatness of Great Britain. We together are a power for good in the world. Our country is respected throughout Europe.

The smaller states look to us to provide a balance of power in Europe, so that they are not dominated by Germany.

By walking out we are letting them down. We are also letting down the UK.

Why should the Scots allow themselves to be dragged out of Europe by a narrow majority, despite their overwhelming vote to stay in? Does democracy stop at Berwick upon Tweed?

It would be a disaster if the union of the United Kingdom were smashed on the rocks of Brexit.