YEP Letters: July 28

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Drivers in Leeds could find themselves paying to use five of the city’s busiest roads under new Government plans designed to tackle air pollution. The A58 A643 A61 A58M and M621 have all been flagged up as pollution hotspots by the strategy which proposes new powers for councils to impose levies if such action is deemed necessary to curb emissions. The city is also set to benefit from a share of a £255m fund set aside to help local authorities draw up plans for wider reforms such as new road layouts and cycling schemes. And £100m has been pledged to upgrade public transport. Here’s what YEP readers had to say about the subject on social media...

David Bob Wilson, via Facebook

Charging for the use of the road won’t make it less used. The public transport system is terrible, can you imagine what would happen if all those car drivers left their cars at home? The buses and trains would be overwhelmed in the first two minutes of the rush hour.

Leeds needs investment in transport, it needs an underground system, it would create thousands of jobs during design, build, operation and upkeep. Once complete a quality underground transport system would be better (cheaper, quicker, non polluting) than using the car and therefore people would use it. People won’t ever go backwards when it comes to travelling around their hometown. Cancel the waste of time HS2 and build an underground for Leeds. It could link train stations, airport, bus station, shopping centres in and out of town, park and rides, and most importantly homes.

Mark Allan

Rip up the cycle lanes, remove the stupid hov lanes and increase capacity then. All these ‘green’ ideas have achieved so far is to reduce traffic flow, cause congestion and increase pollution. We need a proper fit for purpose public transport scheme that works without impeding on road capacity. If you really want to tackle pollution start pulling vehicles belching out clouds of black smoke, many buses, HGVs, vans and cars do this and it’s usually due to poor maintenance. These poorly running vehicles contribute more to pollution than the rest of the road users put together!

Michael Taylor

So charging people to travel stops them using the roads? No it doesn’t, give people a good alternative like tram/ monorail that would work. How about having traffic lights that allow traffic to flow, and not go from one red light to the next, stopping and accelerating causes more Co2, charging workers to do their trades will just cost joe public even more in labour costs, which means more inflation. Councils need to stop doing the easy options and take a brave step.

Michelle Swift

If public transport was worth using then maybe we wouldn’t have such bad traffic issues.

Give us a public transport system that everyone can use easily and problem will be solved but no we pay our taxes then you find another way to take even more money off us.

Katie Edwards-Fox

Until Leeds improves its public transport network we will continue to have this problem. I live in Morley and the traffic is dreadful!

I don’t want to drive! I want to get the train, trouble is I can never get on it because it’s full. Makes me so angry.

Paul Wood

Conveniently most of the main arteries in to Leeds. All that will happen is traffic will be pushed on to other gererally smaller and residential roads creating rat runs in to the city causing more congestion and pollution.

Angela King

Because of where I live for me and my family, neighbours etc, by looking at this will have to pay to get anywhere as pretty much have to use a lot of those roads to get anywhere. Even to just visit relatives. Disgraceful. I work in city centre and costs me a fortune to park so this on top I will have to consider whether I can afford to do the job I love.

Matthew Stringer

I would argue that perhaps the reason the air quality in those locations are poor is due the fact there are pinch points causing traffic to be jammed up. If they could fix those problems to reduce stationary traffic then the air will improve.

Peter Boocock

Simply a proposal and there are other, better ways for councils to spend the money.

LCC looks intent upon enriching infrastructure support for electrically powered service vehicles, starting with taxis and the inevitable roll out of supportive infrastructure as well as traffic schemes. We’d have far less pollution if the roads were better maintained and less congested.

Louise Hill

The pollution levels would lower somewhat if the traffic was able to flow better. Reduce the number of lights and make crossings overhead.

This council is helping the roads grind to a halt with their road policies and uncoordinated allowance of utility works closing sections of roads creating jams. Surely they know standing traffic causes more emissions than free flowing.

Debbie Willis

Before they look at taxing us car drivers even more, they should look at the dirty, disgusting public transport that they are wanting us to use.

They should also look at not forcing people to work in the city centres too. I pay road tax or emissions tax whatever you want to call it already so I can use the public highway.

More consideration needs to be made to the over populated country.

More people means more vehicles of any description, simple.

Aiden Fryer

Don’t you just think city centres are struggling enough to get people to shop in them, now this. Yes it might be good for environment but at what cost? Families struggling enough. our nation alone won’t change effects on the world. We are about 1% of the land of the world so until 99% agree keep churning out those carbon emissions.

Peter Smith

Having recently visited many places in Europe,we need to follow their example.Frequent, modern,cheap efficient and affordable public transport systems are the key.Rat runs will be created, using other roads as short cuts, which will in turn create more traffic pollution and chaos.

Andy Toulson

The government can only think about tax = money = greed. How about thinking different to ease the problem.

Smart motorways cause more congestion and make more tax. How about having companies around these areas working at different times so less traffic at a stand still polluting.

Offer better car sharing benefits, You know give something rather than take. Try talking to the people who live it daily.

Build it Leeds, via website

Hence the reason why this city needs a rapid transit system. We need an electric tram/monorail or underground, have moving walkways under tube tunnels to help people move around the city with ease and out of the weather! Ban all vehicles from the city centre and have a proper transport system that can carry people around the city with ease. It won’t be cheap, but spending now would be cheaper than trying to repair the irreparable damage in another 20 years time.

Papag, via website

So the A58 is one of the roads in question, why then do the councils propose building around 3000 new homes in New Farnley, Drighlington and the Fulneck Valley? New residents will obviously use this road. The differing council departments want to try working with one another for once and stop this madness of destroying our greenbelt for profit irrespective of any adverse health issues it may bring.

Small gaffe in a great film

John Roberts, Wakefield

The film Dunkirk must surely join the pantheon of great war movies.

A film was made about this ‘miracle of deliverance’, as Churchill rightly called it in the late 50s. Now, of course, we have the benefit of personal anecdotes which were included in the new film. It is a worthy tribute to a great historical event, within living memory.

However, the producers fell short in this film with a rather silly gaffe. They went to such trouble to achieve the required authenticity. The panoramic aerial shots of the men on the beaches and aerial combat sequences were stunning-we can forgive them the fact that they used a Blenheim to substitute for a German Heinkel bomber (it is only seen from a distance and is an OK substitute-maybe they could not find a Heinkel).

The gaffe comes at the end,when all our exhausted soldiers flop down after days with no sleep on a 1970s British Rail carriage!

Now, maybe the young people who did the research for this film thought “ah, this looks old enough”, but the sequence ends up looking like some silly timewarp, with the relatively modern upholstery and interior fittings.

Coaches just did not look like that in 1940 (all wood panelling, leather and moquette seats). The daft thing is, you actually see another coach outside which looks more authentically 1940s.

There isn’t really any excuse for this; there are plenty of heritage railways which I am sure have the necessary advice and expertise to help. It was almost embarrassing to watch. I actually think they should remake that section of the film. Seriously, it is so naff.

What is the point in having a young 1940s schoolboy passing a newspaper, or a man in 40s clothes passing a bottle of beer to our soldiers through the carriage window when the interior is totally out of keeping with the costumes and outside scenes?

This is a small gaffe, but sadly so obvious it is inexcusable-so easy to have avoided. Otherwise, a breathtaking and tremendously atmospheric film. And it’s true!

MPs should shout for north

Jim Smith, Whitkirk

The cheek of this government. Stopping electrification of the midland main line, delaying electrification of the Manchester to York line, starting HS 2 in the south.

And abandon this idea of crossover diesel/electric trains?

When we get a transport system up in the north, with freight , going on electrified rail lines across the whole region no diesel buses, lorries or trains, then they can tell us what cars we can buy.

Until this happens, I would like all of our northern MPs to drop their party whips and get shouting for the north.

Because you don’t hear them now.

Dropping strict standards

John Appleyard, Liversedge

Negotiations on our exit from the EU are finally underway and already the UK government is dropping strict EU standards on what goes in our food in the rush to secure trade deals with countries outside the Europe.

They are hoping to put chlorine washed chicken and hormone pumped meat on our supermarket shelves to secure a deal.

Our supermarkets and farmers don’t want this and neither will the consumer when they are aware of the facts. Let’s ask our supermarkets to speak out against this lowering of food standards.

Last week a new report warned that the government is sleep walking into a post Brexit future of insecurity, unsafe and increasingly expensive food supply.

Searching for family information

Valerie Thorley, West Wales

i am looking to bring my family research up-to-date and would like to find the whereabouts of Janet and Michael Round and their daughter Claire Nicola – all born in Leeds.

Also Janet’s brother Stephen G P Marshall born in Devon and his family.

My late grandmother was related to Janet’s late grandmother. valthorley@yahoo.co.uk

New colony of Humboldt penguins in the new Costal Zone at Lotherton Hall.
21st November 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: November 22