With reference to YEP of 22nd November, regarding the Leeds Trolley bus Scheme.
Leeds Metro state that it “staged 50 public events and distributed more than 52,000 leaflets in a programme of engagement activity”. I have a business on the route of the scheme and have been served a compulsory use of buildings notice, that notice served on the 18th October was the first time I have EVER been contacted by Metro/NGT directly or indirectly.
I find it stunning that Metro could make such a statement and that they hope to have business or public support when it seems they are trying to sneak the whole scheme through with as little consultation as possible.
Like most people I want Leeds to have an integrated transport system, but it has to be the right one.
Putting in a system that will leave Leeds the laughing stock of Europe because it is outdated and causes worse congestion than before is wrong by any standards.
The route from Stourton to Parkinson Steps has merit, through Hyde Park, Headingley and West Park it has none. There is no room for it and it will decimate these vibrant areas making them mere road corridors. Must they be sacrificed for easier access to the centre of Leeds – are these wonderful suburbs not part of Leeds too?
The case for the Leeds Trolley Bus Scheme seems to be based only on the need for investment into the city, it’s support by local councillors and MPs appears to have more to do with political positioning and avoidance of loss of face than common sense.
But this scheme is so badly thought out that the whole scheme and its accompanying investment must surely be in question, it seems the real issue is getting Metro/NGT and the council to reconsider the plans and come up with something that is actually fit for purpose so the money is not lost or wasted rather than carry on with the badly thought out scheme proposed.
Louise Howard-Long, Architect Hair, Otley Road, Headingley
Chaos caused by torn cable
In the light of the current trolley bus debate here, I wondered if your readers had heard what happened in Geneva in the evening of November 4, when a trolley bus cable broke, not because it had been torn away by a passing lorry, as has happened in the past, but simply as a result of normal wear and tear.
The result was chaos throughout much of the city for several hours, as a number of trolley bus lines stopped working, including some services going to the airport.
This is not a problem you get with ordinary buses.
Buses easier to fix than people
Reading your piece about the elderly lady who sadly died after being thrown from her seat when the driver braked suddenly to avoid a collision, I feel I have to comment.
I am an ex-bus driver and suffered similar incidents, one when a girl ran through standing traffic into the bus lane and I stood on the brakes (horrendous experience but thankfully the girl survived) and one where a car came from a side road again causing me to brake sharply.
This incident resulted in a young girl travelling head over heels to the front of the bus.
I was driving one-man operated buses on both occasions and came to the following conclusion.
I made the decision that I would never again brake harshly simply to avoid a vehicle if I had passengers on the bus as it is easier by far to mend machines than bodies.
Fortunately I only had two further incidents both involving cars during the rest of my time and each only required vehicles to be repaired.
I wonder if this philosophy is taught to the bus drivers of today.
D Good, by email
Why no FGM prosecutions?
I was truly shocked to learn of the number of girls who have been treated at Yorkshire hospitals following the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), with 450 victims recorded at St James’s Hospital in Leeds in the last three years and 120 at Bradford Royal Infirmary last year.
As campaigners against FGM have found out, political correctness has spread throughout our society to such an extent that this practice is tolerated due to people’s fear of being accused of ‘racism’ should they be seen to oppose it.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, is quoted as stating that; ‘[FGM] is a crime that will not be tolerated in a modern multicultural society.”
Considering the fact that there has not been a single prosecution for FGM since it was banned in 1985, despite so many young victims having been treated in hospitals, the statistics do not appear to support Mr Starmer’s claim.
It is high time that we eradicated this barbaric practice – along with the political correctness which encourages it.
Chris Beverley, Common Lane, East Ardsley
Unethical to put Scots vote first
It would appear this government has absolutely no ethics as it confirms the loss of hundreds of jobs in Portsmouth in order to curry favour with Scottish voters ahead of the referendum.
They deny it, of course, but then denial is, as Freud pointed out, the strongest and most common defence mechanism.
This in the week that Keith Vaz and David Davis have called into question the integrity of the police.
R Kimble, by email
Get tough on tax avoidance
It recently seems to have become almost a daily occurrence to read news of yet another company involved in the practice of ‘legal’ tax avoidance in this country whilst making huge profits on our high streets, from online UK customers, or indeed from any businesses being carried out within our borders.
The term ‘legal’ in this instance is valid only because of the existence of loopholes which, predictably, this Tory-led government are dragging their feet on dealing with.
So who are the real scroungers in this country? It would be interesting to see some convincing figures on cost to the country due to tax avoidance by companies and rich individuals, compared to any effects on the economy due to suspect benefit claimants. I suspect that this latter grouping would be a relative drop in the ocean and, it should be noted, will not include the whole number of unemployed in the UK.
Get your priorities right Cameron.
Alan Freeman, Heather Gardens, Bramley
Pensioners do not come First
I have to be honest and say I was waiting for this, re; the item on page 10 YEP 5 November.
I’m not sure why First have changed the route of service 5, but there must be some reason.
The bus still operates on one side (Butterbowl Drive) of the Old Farnley loop so simply walking down Whincover Drive from the top terminus isn’t too difficult as it’s all downhill.
Service 42 hasn’t been changed so those on or close to stops on Whincover Drive are not stranded as they claim.
Pensioners undoubtedly will moan a bit, but I believe they are not priority customers of First.
Those who buy regular weekly, monthly and annual season tickets are, and this could be a factor.
I say, leave it for six months and review it then.
Nick Keer, Leeds