Check out today’s YEP letters
How long to regain EU benefits?
Dr Colin White, Pontefract
“What has the EU ever done for us?” The comments from Brexit supporters about the perceived negative effects of EU membership reminds me of the Monty Python sketch “What have the Romans ever done for us?
“Well nothing – apart from roads, clean water, sanitation, public health, peace...” and I could add central heating to that list. After the Romans left we didn’t get decent roads until the 18th century and it was the Victorians who gave us clean water, sanitation and public health. We had to wait until the 20th century for central heating again and I’ve been fortunate to live all of my 73 years in a peaceful Europe, unlike my father and grandfathers.
After Brexit I wonder how long we will have to wait to regain the benefits we now enjoy from EU membership?
Learner drivers to be allowed on motorways
Learner drivers will be allowed to take lessons on motorways in England Scotland and Wales from June this year. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) this week confirmed that the law would be changed following a consultation on the matter last year. Announcing the decision last week the DVSA said that it would help improve learners’ knowledge and ensure more drivers know how to use motorways safely. At the moment drivers can only have motorway lessons after they have passed your driving test. The changes to the law will come into effect on June 4 - until then it will remain illegal for learners to drive on motorways. We asked YEP readers for their views and here’s what some of them said on social media..
Chaudhry Sohail Warsi
I’ve seen most of them driving on 15-20mph on a 30mph road.
What will happen on the motorway? We already have so many slow drivers on motorway don’t need anymore. That decision needs a review.
Whatever next? Can’t wait for an instructor to be grabbing the wheel of their student as they drift in and out of lanes at 40mph.
Some instructors have no sense of what is an acceptable level of driving for their students to tackle some roads in rush hours as it is.
Good I say! The amount of people who don’t understand the rules of motorway driving is amazing, the amount of people sitting in the middle lane at 60mph putting the motorway down to effectively one lane. In sections where it’s four lanes wide you find people don’t use the first two lanes again putting it down to one lane.
Good idea getting learners used to motorways, however newly qualified drivers have had this opportunity for years through Pass plus course. I couldn’t recommend it enough as also saved a fortune on my first year’s insurance.
Emma Louise Watson
I was terrified of motorway driving after passing my test. I had a licence and could legally drive on them without anyone instructing me how.
It would have been nice to have an instructor to talk me through it.
You can already do something similar anyway, When I passed my test I went on to do Pass plus I think it’s called where you go with your instructor and go out on a motorway and driving at night. It costs a bit more but it was well worth it as it gets you used to how to drive on a motorway before you jump into your own car on your own. It just builds confidence and because you’ve already passed your test you’re up to speed anyway.
Gareth John Wood
Learners should not be allowed into the motorway and new drivers should have to wait until they have at least two years driving experience.
As an instructor I see it as a good idea. It’s still not a compulsory thing to do. I personally would only take someone who is at test standard.
County success not mirrored by infrastructure
Brian Winterbottom, Huddersfield.
IT is now abundantly clear that only the combined forces of this gem of a county of ours will achieve the devolution we so desperately need.
Getting the huge areas of Yorkshire to sing from the same song sheet will not be easy and I know from serving on many committees for over 50 years that big is rarely beautiful and a small group can often achieve more.
It is clear, nevertheless, that for Yorkshire to pull itself up by the boot laces and see a drastic improvement in the quality of our lives we will need the combined talents of everyone in this great county. In virtually every area of infrastructure. Education and health we have fallen way behind those in the South and now is the time to speak with one voice and to refuse the crumbs from the Westminster table.
During my working life, I represented several high-street top brands. They had spent many years and countless millions of pounds building a name that was instantly recognisable by the general public.
Looking back over the last 10 years or so, the Yorkshire brand has grown immensely.
In sport the brilliant coup of the opening stage of the Tour de France followed up by the Tour de Yorkshire. The exploits of the Brownlee brothers and many other sporting heroes have all been brilliant.
Within only half an hour of our doorstep lies the world-renowned Yorkshire Sculpture Park and almost next door the Hepworth Wakefield.
A little further east and the delights of York with its majestic Minster and superb Railway Museum.
Add to this our lovely countryside and coastal resorts and we are indeed blessed.
What a different story emerges, however, when we look at our infrastructure. Education and services. The state of our roads is appalling and gets worse with each winter. After years of half-promises, our roads to the coast are mostly single carriageway and it is beyond belief that the ever expanding and vibrant city of Leeds still lacks an integrated transport system.
For too long we have gone cap in hand to those with the purse strings in government and where are we as a result?
Be sure of one thing. The politicians who run the roost at Westminster will not wish to change the status quo and the power that goes with it.
Yorkshire at this moment is crying out for strong leadership.
It is time for this wonderful county of ours to punch its weight.
Join in the fun and games
David Mitchell, National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship
I would like to invite people across the United Kingdom living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) to join The British Polio Fellowship.
We are dedicated to helping people with PPS, making sure members are able to live as independently as possible and providing support, fellowship, friendship, and a caring ear or voice on the end of the phone.
One of the biggest events on our sporting and social calendar, The National Indoor Games, gets underway in Leicester from 16-18 March. Bringing members together from every part of the country for nine sporting events, the event has its origins in the original Stoke Mandeville Games and allows members to still compete, but also to socialise, meet up with old friends and share the latest tips and best practice on PPS management.
Joining one of our branches or groups is easy and who knows, you could be one of the competitors at the 2019 Games. Next year’s Games will be a milestone event, as the charity will be marking 80 years of service to members.
With over 120,000 people living in the UK living with PPS, we know there are many thousands who would benefit from joining us.
If you are one of them, contact us at www.britishpolio.org.uk or call 0800 043 1935 today.
Membership is for life, so if you have simply not been in touch for a while, give us a call or drop in and see us at a local branch. Many lapsed members have done just that, meeting up with old friends, making new ones, and you could too.
Paying tribute for Mother’s Day
Jonathan Davies, by email
As the RAF marks its centenary on April 1, I had to write and tell you about my mother Rose Davies who herself celebrated a centenary in 2016.
Now older than the service she loyally served during the Second World War, my mother is a true inspiration in my eyes.
She joined the WAAF in 1941 after my father, then her fiancé, had been posted to the Middle East for four years.
It was her reckoning; if she contributed to the war effort she may just get her love home sooner. So she became a radar operator and served on the Isle of Wight during the D-Day landings in 1944.
Typically, my mother doesn’t think her story is worth telling, but she’s underplaying what a vital role she had.
A role for which she was honoured, receiving the French Legion d’Honneur and being guest of honour at a USAF/RAF banquet in Washington, America in 2014.
She helped to guide the hundreds of ships which took part in the landings, across the Channel safely in very challenging conditions, all the while hoping those brave men would return.
This Mother’s Day I reflect on all she did for her country alongside all she did for us as a family. Now she is part of the RAF Family, a family which looks after its own.
This is borne out by the incredible support she receives from the RAF Benevolent Fund. They give us the peace of mind to know Mum has all she needs in her retirement to live comfortably and with dignity.
Should her needs grow, I know they will continue to be there for us as a family.
If your mum or dad served or you know someone that did and they need a little support, I encourage you to reach out to the RAF Benevolent Fund who have stood side by side with the RAF for the last 100 years. visit www.rafbf.org to find out more.