YEP Letters: July 7

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What a wonderful time we had watching the Tour de France. It has been such a huge joy to see Leeds buzz with excitement as the cycle race prepared to hit the city.

From the parade through the city centre on Thursday evening to the ceremonial start at Harewood House on Saturday. Congratulations, Leeds, on staging the start of the race – you did us all proud.

It will be an event many won’t forget for years to come.

However, really disappointed in Harewood House for putting hospitality before the paying public to watch the royals start the race – we were all left to watch from the sidelines.

The event was organised very badly – and unless you were a VIP or had a hospitality invite you weren’t really made to feel a part of the ceremonial start – and there was such a large unused hospitality area, whilst the crowds were penned in the far sides to capacity. As you will see from my photos.

Name and address supplied

We have just spent the day at Masham watching Le Grand Départ and would like to congratulate all concerned in the organisation, setting up and logistical operation for the day.

It was extremely well prepared and the day ran very smoothly. The facilities at Masham were excellent and we wanted for nothing. The atmosphere was incredible.

A fabulous well done to everyone. What an advert for Yorkshire! Thank you.

Sandra Crabtree, Doncaster

Here’s something I penned inspired by Le Tour.

My whippets have gone to Walthamstow, pigeons to Trafalgar Square,

My shed has no more canaries in, I stop and stand and stare,

We’re toning down the proper talk, remove the ee by gum,

They’ve said best change York’s name again back t’ Eboracum.

My flat cap’s been removed from head, it’s been hung up for good,

Although I’ve had to draw the line, I still need my Yorkshire Pud,

Since Harry left his Guiseley home, wherefore now fish and chips?

There’s no more wooden forks at hand, it’s champagne that now one sips.

Talks turned to France – the county’s Grand Depart,

And all that’s French is vogue, even Napoleon Bonaparte,

And a call for loads more Michelin stars,

And ban from roads them ruddy cars.

Where there’s muck there’s brass and now there’s carbon,

And lots of talk that’s good – Ah bon!

Not Scargill’s coal but carbon fibre frames,

To tackle Le Tour’s stages that somehow must be tamed.

There’s no more grim descriptions of dark satanic mills,

Just open spaces, beauty, across the Dales and hills,

July will soon be on us the greatest grand depart,

When t’ Tour visits Gods own county it’s sure to race the heart.

In truth it’s down to Verity building a bright new Yorkshire brand,

That’s as sturdy as the dry stonewalls that adorn the county’s land,

Le Tour success to Yorkshire a toast wi’ cuppa Tea in hand,

Of course we’ll be serenaded by Brighouse & Rastrick Band!

Jonathan Clark, by email

Arise Sir Gary.

Congratulations to all at Team Verity.

Andrew N. Graham, by email

Obscene prices for the Eagles

A FRIEND of mine has been an avid fan of the Eagles since 1973. As the US group were dropping into Leeds, he thought he would take the chance to see them.

On discovering the ticket prices for their concert at the First Direct Arena, he winced. Prices ranged from £130 up to £230. For a cool (additional) £125 you could avail yourself of a ‘VIP Eagles Club’ package.

You didn’t actually get to meet the band but you got some memorabilia, a buffet meal, a live DJ and you could use the bar for an hour afterwards (excluding champagne).

Oh, by the way, the ticket prices did not include a booking fee. In a word, obscene.

Yes, they played for three hours, but the group/audience interaction was somewhat stiff.

Glen Frey, the group leader who runs them like a corporate organisation, has all the charisma of a railway station announcer. Any excitement in the aisles was discouraged.

Obviously, many people are prepared to pay, or can afford, these prices – but it’s interesting that tickets were considerably cheaper in Germany.

Personally, I always rated Poco (The Eagles’ bassist, Timothy B Schmidt used to be in them) as a better band – more gifted, but less ruthlessly ambitious and running to a formula.

John Roberts, Wakefield

Drivers need to show respect

I BELIEVE in an integrated transport system which looks at what’s best for the car user, train and bus user and pedestrian.

But why do some car users such as Ernest Lundy (YEP, June 28), who complains about the fines being levied for motorists using the bus lane on Kirkstall Road, think they are above the law? Cars should not use bus lanes, nor should they park in cycle lanes.

The calming measures that Mr Lundy refers to such as speed bumps and mounds are usually introduced after the occurrence of some serious or fatal accident.

The pot holes in the road he refers to are caused by heavy traffic, damage to pavements are caused by cars parking on them.

Vacancies for school crossing patrol wardens are becoming hard to fill due to the abuse given to them by some drivers.

More and more drivers can be seen talking on their mobile phones. And let’s not forget the pollution that is emitted from cars.

This is not an anti-car rant, but they are issues that should be addressed. There are many excellent and courteous drivers on our roads, some of whom are reliant on their car. But some need to show a little more respect for others.

John Appleyard, Liversedge

Demand more power for Yorks

Labour, and indeed all parties, should be congratulated for beginning to talk about the devolution of powers from Westminster (YEP, July 2).

This is an opportunity for the local authorities, civic organisations and MPs of Yorkshire to create a real conversation and agree on a new regional settlement for the whole region.

Yorkshire has the same size population as Scotland and an economy twice the size of Wales but the powers of neither. It’s time for change.

The Labour plans are a start, but why will money and decision making on investment be directed and spent by unelected Local Enterprise Partnerships?

Where is the public voice and oversight? How do we influence policy? Or will it be left to business to decide?

As a region we can win, as the Grand Depart shows. But where else do the region’s 22 councils work together to address our common needs?

A Yorkshire parliament with sufficient powers to act at a regional level is within reach if our representatives grasp the nettle.

The UK will never give power away – it has to be demanded.

I urge people to ask their MPs and councillors what they are doing to demand more powers for Yorkshire.

Richard Carter, Leader of the Yorkshire First Party

YEP Letters: February 19