YEP Letters: November 8

Picture James Hardisty. Official opening of the CityConnect Cycle Superhighway connecting Leeds and Bradford.
Picture James Hardisty. Official opening of the CityConnect Cycle Superhighway connecting Leeds and Bradford.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

More money wasted on cycle tracks

Shaun Kavanagh, by email

Leeds City Council (LCC) are still intent on wasting more money on their harebrained cycle track developments, despite all the objections and observations of right minded residents, motorists and experts alike.

Cycle tracks are nothing short of a menace. In fact cyclists avoid the cycle tracks quoting them as being dangerous and unfit for purpose, yet the only people who cannot see sense are those within LCC.

I bet councillors haven’t actually walked, or cycled, a significant or appreciable length of the cycle tracks they are happy to introduce, nor listened to good reason as to the tracks being unfit for purpose, yet they are happy to continue trying to convince everyone they are right and despite all the criticisms by those who know the true facts.

The rail boss without a stake in the real world

ME Wright, Harrogate.

WITH a title like “Stakeholder Manager”, it’s difficult to believe that Northern Rail’s Pete Myers inhabits the same day-to-day planet as his “customer” passengers.

Following yet another own goal, we are reminded once again that we are not allowed to board a train unless clutching a ticket.

Most of the stations on the Harrogate to Leeds line are unstaffed. If the ticket machine isn’t working and the sardine-tin conditions of the train prevent the guard from reaching us, then we might well find ourselves arriving at Leeds, facing the denigration of Northern’s Revenue Men.

We face paying a “penalty fare”. Let me make this clear Mr Myers that, should I fall foul of this, you will get not one metric farthing more than the actual fare.

Following the racing certainty that others will take the same line, what might the next step be; parading our innate criminality in court perhaps? Please tell us. We can then decide whether to use the bus, or perhaps choke the roads still further, with yet more cars.

Open the old hospitals

Tarquin Holman, Farsley.

READING the sorry state of affairs with the lack of aftercare for the elderly on leaving hospital, is it not time we reopened the once-beautiful convalescence hospitals?

To be funded by politicians’ first-class expenses, holidays and their pensions. It was once known as priorities.

Legislation will not work

Ivan Kovacks, by email

I see from the recent local and national news, over the past bonfire weekend, that the government is going to vote on legislation to increase the sentences for people found guilty of assault on emergency workers.

Whilst I applaud the motives behind this legislation I believe it is fundamentally wrong on two grounds. Let me say I strongly support all the emergency services and have worked for one for over 30 years and at times worked with the others.

I also find any form of assault abhorrent.

Firstly I do not think this legislation will work.

The vast majority of assaults are done by people in the heat of the moment or in drink and the last thing on their minds will be any sentence deterrent. Secondly, as an ordinary member of the public why should anyone who may assault me get a shorter sentence than someone who assaults an emergency worker? This potential legislation makes others a lesser victim in the eyes of the law compared to an emergency worker when the assault is just the same.

This is morally unjustifiable.

Extension will mean more congestion

Liz Goodwill, by email

Thrilled to bits that Leeds City Council can “find” another £7.9m for more congestion in the city, because that’s what yet another extension to so called “cycle lanes” will do.

But hey ho let’s pander to the few, and never mind the rest, because really are you seriously telling us people use these “lanes”?

Indebted to Leeds Infirmary

Edwina Gerry, by email

As a retired nurse who trained at the Leeds General Infirmary in the early 70s I have the fondest memories and respect for the training I received in the nurse training school.

My colleagues and I learnt how to look after sick people with skill, attentiveness and great care. Our tutors taught us with a commitment to ensure we would be able to work in any setting with confidence and empathy. We worked in the wards and departments day in and day out gaining experience which would benefit us both personally and professionally.

Following a career in healthcare of over 40 years I feel indebted to the hospital and its influence on my life.

I remain involved in the LGI Nurses League which provides an annual reunion to support our long lasting friendships started in those early days.

A democratic carbuncle

Harry Brooke, Meanwood

The unelected House of Lords is a democratic carbuncle clad in ermine. Each Lord or Lady who turns up at this institution is eligible for £300 a day plus expenses subsidised bars and restaurants. Many of them take a nap in the afternoon and when they wake up from their snooze have the nerve to tell us what to do. This country needs another Oliver Cromwell and fast, but alas, I see no one on the horizon.

A breath of fresh air

John Appleyard, Liversedge

I love listening to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ on Sunday morning presented by Kirsty Young and its wide range of guests and music. This Sunday was no exception with guest Phil Scraton, a working class man from Liverpool who progressed from bus conductor to professor in criminology.

Scraton has acted on behalf of political prisoners and deaths in custody, he has advised the families who have been campaigning over the Hillsborough football disaster as well as offering support to the residents of the Grenfell Tower disaster in London.

His choice of music was good too, selecting Gerry and the Pacemakers’ ‘You’ll never walk alone”, Labi Siffre’s ‘Something inside so strong’ and Joan Armatrading’s ‘Love and Affection’. Phil Scraton is a breath of fresh air.

Partnership is on track

David Brown, Managing Director of Northern (Arriva Rail North); Amanda Hines, general manager for Virgin Trains on the West Coast route; Andy Cooper, managing director of CrossCountry; Leo Goodwin, managing director of TransPennine Express; Martin Frobisher, managing director of Network Rail’s London North Western Route; Rob McIntosh, managing director of Network Rail’s London North Eastern Route; Jake Kelly, managing director of East Midlands Trains.

RAIL is fundamental to Yorkshire’s prosperity. That’s why we – the rail companies in the North – joined others from across the country to launch our plan for a changing and improving railway that will secure almost £85bn of extra economic benefits to the country, improve journeys for our customers and better connect our communities, from Bradford to Bridlington and Sheffield to Settle.

Only this plan, delivered by a changing partnership railway, will secure the economic benefits from current investment by the public and private sectors, and enable further improvement and investment.

To get there we are making four commitments for change – for our economy, our customers, our communities and our people.

We will use these commitments to frame and guide our decision-making from now on, and we will deliver – publishing a progress report every year – because the railway is so important to the North’s future prosperity.

Lack of logic on Brexit vote

John Cole, Shipley

As opinion polls on leaving the EU now show a majority for “Remain” (perhaps 53:47) some commentators are arguing that no attempt should be made to reverse the June 2016 result (52:48 for Leave) until the Remain share of the poll rises to 60%.There is a complete lack of logic or consistency here.

Last year’s referendum was advisory only, and was deeply flawed in several respects (lies told, franchise restricted etc.) Nevertheless Mrs May and co. chose to press ahead with an extreme form of Brexit on a very slim margin. Most golf clubs, musical societies etc. have in their constitutions a requirement for a two thirds majority to bring about constitutional change. This is a “super-majority requirement”. What our commentators are now suggesting is that it is good enough to go ahead with the huge upheaval of Brexit on a 52% share of the vote but require a super-majority (60%) to stick with the status quo.

The shoddy thinking (or is it bias?) of our commentators needs to be exposed.

Celebrate life’s positive aspects

Geoffrey North, Guiseley

ON November 14, 2014, The Yorkshire Post published a letter of mine with the heading “Celebrate the values of our nation”.

Three years later, I feel that the need to rethink our celebrations is even more critical. At this time of year we celebrate two sinister festivities, Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night. Why do we continue to celebrate the deaths of terrorists who tried to blow up parliament and the monarchy? And why do we encourage Halloween’s “trick or treat” or should it be “threat or treat”?

I strongly feel that we should discourage both events and replace them with a national Remembrance Day which would combine our thanks to all those who fought, many of whom died, in two World Wars.

We could include the Spanish Armada, the Battle of Trafalgar and the Battle of Waterloo. Perhaps others. Let’s have a national holiday which celebrates the positive aspects of life which we all enjoy and perhaps take for granted.

Offshore banking revelations

Ernest Lundy, by email

We are back to the business of offshore bank accounts again.

The fact that the Queen has been mentioned has revived the old chestnut that there is nothing wrong with their use and that all is legal as they are not evading UK tax but only avoiding it. A reminder of this has resurfaced in an attempt to refute any suggestion of wrongdoing by the Queen although she is not personally involved in directing her finances. But to decide the issue, a glance in any dictionary states that ‘avoid’, ‘elude’ and ‘evade’ are one and the same.

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