File photo dated 15/04/08 of a cycle lane in central London. Ministers have been accused of failing to give cycling the priority it deserves after it was revealed just 1% of Department for Transport staff work on biking policy. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday January 27, 2017. See PA story COMMONS Cycling. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire
File photo dated 15/04/08 of a cycle lane in central London. Ministers have been accused of failing to give cycling the priority it deserves after it was revealed just 1% of Department for Transport staff work on biking policy. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday January 27, 2017. See PA story COMMONS Cycling. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire
Have your say

Phillip Marsden, via email

In response to Jaimes Moran, member of Leeds Green Party (letters, June 28), can I state that, contrary to his fond belief, bicycles are not an effective form of transport?

A bicycle takes up the same amount of road as a car, given that other road-users have to give them a wide berth, due to the propensity of cyclists (like horses) of moving suddenly in any direction without warning. They can transport only one rider, unlike a car which can hold up to four, and a car does not hold up traffic.

A bicycle being ridden at 15mph on a two-way road holds up traffic and it is common to see a single cyclist heading a queue of traffic hundreds of yards long. If a motorist were to travel at 15mph the police would prosecute them for causing a traffic obstruction, so why not the cyclist?

It is not possible to do a weekly shop with a bicycle, nor is it possible for an infirm person to use a bicycle, nor a person in a wheelchair. All these people can use or be carried in a car or bus, so I claim that a car or bus is a much more effective form of transport than a bicycle.

If people wish to use a bicycle as a means of exercise, then the Local Authority should provide off-road places where this can be done. This would have the benefits of keeping the cyclists safe, keep the roads moving, and be much cheaper than a £29 million cycle lane.

Financial myth

Barry Norman, Moorside Vale, Drighlington

Ms K Palmer’s letter (June 29) has to be challenged on several points.

She continues to peddle the myth that the financial crisis was caused by the last Labour government. In fact the crisis was world wide and was more the fault of the Conservative’s friends in the banking sector who have suffered no cost at all (at least in Iceland they jailed some bankers).

I also have to say that the Conservatives do like dishing out cuts so they can continue their march to privatisation. The cuts to the public sector are avoidable and as Mr Corbyn has said need reversing - just tell me who has been picking up the pieces in the latest disasters? I think you will find it is the public and voluntary sector. Ms K Palmer also asks “Do you think the Tories like dishing out cuts?”

The simple answer is a clear yes, as shown on Wednesday when the Tories laughed and cheered at their victory as they voted against a proposal to end the pay freeze on nurses, firefighters and other public sector workers. As for the younger generation I credit them with realising there is a different way to do politics and trust them to come up with ideas to get us out of the mess that my generation has made.

Blame bankers

Martin J Phillips, Tinshill Lane, Leeds

once again we have a writer trying to blame the 2008 financial crash and ensuing austerity on the Labour government (Ms K Palmer letter, June 29).

If Labour had been responsible then how is it that the USA, Spain, Ireland, Greece, and many other countries have suffered similar financial crises?

It was the greed of the banks and their shareholders that caused the financial crisis. The only mistake Labour made was to bail out the banks. They should have put the burden on the shareholders who caused the problem. The incoming Tory led government in 2010 chose to use austerity to resolve this issue but instead of ensuring their very rich, greedy friends who cause the problem paid the price, the burden was placed on those least able to afford it.

Cheering insult

Terry Maunder, Kirkstall, Leeds

last night Tory MPs cheered when the pay cap was voted through.

I have just heard a Tory Councillor on BBC’s Victoria state that stories of nurses using food banks are left wing lies.

He also stated that paying firefighters, nurses, police and so forth more money could not be justified in comparison to the money given to the DUP in order to ensure an effective majority. That cheering by politicians who are mostly unqualified to do their jobs (Hunt has no qualifications or experience in healthcare or nursing) is an insult to altruistic, qualified, dedicated professionals who we all rely on.

Look at the absolute panic shown by some Tory MPs when the attack on Westminster Bridge occurred. Look at their absence over Grenfell Tower initially. Then look at those professionals risking their lives without complaint. Can you imagine the sights they saw? I once worked on an acute psychiatry ward where a patient set fire to himself.

The image is still there clearly and that happened in 1973. MPs accept huge pay rises and claim massive expenses then think they can decide to inflict financial pain on us. I sense winds of change in attitude to some of these people who think themselves better than us: I would have booed May as well had I been there.

They have no place to look down on or ignore us by virtue of a coincidence of birth.

Air pollution

CV Barton, Hasley Road, Burley in Wharfedale, Ilkley.

May I ask a few questions regarding the present debate on transport and air pollution?

In the YEP, June 16, Councillor Yeadon states they are keen to hear from people and businesses across the city as to how we go about doing this. I am not aware of any of the public transport user groups (CBT Campaign for Better Transport, LRTA Light Rail Transit Association, Railfuture - Railway Development Society) meeting the councillor - and that would be a start.

What does the council mean by the term Mass Rapid Transit System? Will this use the 280 low emission buses pledged by the bus industry on segregated roads (York Road, Scott Hall road guided busway) or Manchester/Sheffield type electric trams? The York Road busway was marketed as the unblocker of adjacent grid locks - has it worked? Have any readers observed a reduction in grid locks and an improvement in air quality on this road?

It was a typical solution to make it appear something was being done, but nothing was done. Have any readers seen any figures showing bus passenger numbers before and after the busway was opened?

The area between Cross Gates and Barwick is proposed for massive house building but so far no mention of re-opening the railway from Cross Gates to Wetherby and Harrogate via Penda’s Way, Scholes, Thorner, Bardsey and Collingham.

Why has the council and the local people not insisted on this before development commences in the area? Population on this route is similar to Leeds-Ilkley and users know how busy this route is with rail passengers.

I would ask Councillor Yeadon if she has observed the crush loaded trains arriving and departing from Leeds Railway Station at peak times? This clearly illustrates massive latent demand because people will not risk going for a train if they cannot get on, or have to stand. The railway needs a massive increase in carriage numbers and a massive line and station re-opening/opening programme, as well as a massive electrification programme to cut air pollution and road congestion.

YEP Letters: June 23