YEP Letters: November 16

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Green power is not good for area

S Crees, Pontefract

They say that history has a habit of repeating itself, and it certainly has, after reading about the plans to build another green power station at Ferrybridge and the 500 so-called jobs it will bring to our area.

We have been fed this propaganda before - it was only a few years ago when the same headlines featured on the front pages with regards to the recently built bio-mass power station also at Ferrybridge.

There was not much benefit to the local working population - the vast majority of those jobs went to foreign workers, and in fact a community of Spanish workers have set up home in the surrounding community.

We have seen the closure of Kellingley coal mine and now we have been told that Ferrybridge and Eggborough power stations are to close with the loss of more than 1,500 well paid jobs in total.

These were real jobs, which generated wealth and energy to the community, only to be replaced by 50 permanent jobs and migrant workers who usually send their money back to Madrid.

We get leaf burning power stations and windmills and expensive fuel bills, while Germany and China produce cheaper energy with new coal fired power stations. All this in pursuit of carbon credit.


Trolleybus debate

Christopher Todd, Emeritus Professor of French, University of Leeds

Leaving aside what was said about wires at the inquiry, and irrelevant comparisons with the Kirkstall Road bus scheme mainly on a non-residential stretch, not noted for its fine mature trees, Gary Scholes (YEP, 6 October) does raise the question of road widening.

In Lyon the decision to construct properly segregated lanes for the much troubled C3 trolleybus route has caused considerable irritation. With twin wires and lack of track trolleybuses need more space than trams, and when in 1977 the authorities here first considered the feasibility of introducing the latter, they rightly concluded that the necessary segregation was impossible on Headingley Lane without causing unacceptable damage (WYT, Light rail transit for Leeds – an initial appraisal (1977), pp.56-58, 66-68).

I question Mr Scholes’ assertion that towns with recently abandoned trolleybus schemes now want to bring them back, and doubt whether he will be successful with his appeal to get us to sign a petition to stop Wellington dismantling its scheme ( ).

Established systems are upgraded, with some extensions, but the suggestion of a worldwide bandwagon in favour of new systems is disingenuous. Montreal had thought of taking advantage of hydroelectricity with a trolleybus, but this project has been recently stopped because of cost and widespread dislike of overhead wires.

He quotes an engineer who once made a joke about battery buses.

If this remark was made recently it was foolish, with such buses now running in many towns through the world, London, having just added a double-decker to its fleet. Aberdeen and London also run hydrogen fuel cell buses.

Through recent advances in the use of supercapitators, full-scale use of fast-charging electric buses on long routes is planned for next year, most notably in Switzerland (ABB-TOSA) and Germany (Schunk).

Only political point scoring matters

D S Boyes, Leeds 13

CONCERNS that taxpayers across West Yorkshire might be liable to pay compensation to private bus operators are well founded, and only go to prove beyond any doubt that public services such as bus or train travel can never work in the interests of the travelling public if in private hands.

None of these companies could run buses or trains without massive public subsidy with railways is costing taxpayers more today than when previously nationalised.

France has about the best rail service in Europe, ie SNCF (Société National du Chemin de Fer) nationalised almost 100 years ago, and of course their nationalised gas and electric EDF / GDF (Electricité de France / Gaz de France) is cheaper than ours, plus they actually export some surplus energy to us.

But it’s all very well transport chairman Leeds City Labour Councillor Keith Wakefield bemoaning the poor state of public transport in West Yorkshire now, as its deficiencies are nothing new; why didn’t he berate New Labour over it in their 13 years of continuous office?

The sad truth being to me anyway, is that only political point scoring seems to matter, not solving the problems.

‘Specious’ concern over Trident

R Kimble, Hawksworth

I find the concern over Corbyn and Trident rather specious. We are told it is a deterrent and, during the 50s and 60s in particular, that it protected us against Communism.

I will leave aside the fact there has never been a truly Communist country.

The old USSR never had as part of its agenda the invasion or otherwise of the USA or the UK. The principle was, in fact, that “revolution at home” needed more attention. The USA, of course, criticised the oppression of the USSR whilst at the same time, in the 50s, carrying out witch hunts against “Communist sympathisers” worthy of Stalin.

It was them, too, who actually, and hypocritically, invaded countries, usually illegally, and that continues today:all in the name of “democracy”, of course.

I await with apprehension the antics of Labour MPs who will eventually, and hypocritically, themselves plot against him in a manner worthy of the bullying Tories.

Language does matter

Max Nottingham, Lincoln

WOULD the media please stop using the ludicrous phrase ‘bobbies on the beat’.

It sounds like a phrase one would use about nursery school police officers. In reality the police seemed to have largely ceased doing beat patrols.

They study screens and fly about in fast cars.

Language does matter, and we should not romanticise authority professions.