YEP Letters: October 16

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Sculpture park relies on cash from car park

Andy Carver, Director of Development and Communications, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

A response to Adrian Buttree’s letter of (YEP Letters, October 13).

Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is a registered independent charity. In order to keep entry to the park free of charge for visitors we rely heavily on the income that we generate.

We are among many arts organisations that have been hit hard by rising running costs and funding cuts, with more to come.

We have to raise over £2m each year to deliver the exhibitions, education and community work we do, as well as maintain the 500 acre estate, and parking charges are an essential contribution to this.

Sir Alec Clegg, Chief Education Officer for West Riding, bought Bretton Hall in 1949 in order to establish Bretton Hall College. There was no public access to the estate when the hall originally functioned as a college.

Access was created by YSP in 1977 when it began mounting exhibitions within the grounds.

Over more recent years, YSP has bought and leased parts of the site in order to reintegrate the historic estate and has invested over £15m in capital developments to create the facilities that are now available to the public.

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Trams would still work well

S Sleeman, Leeds 6

You ask, on your ‘Picture Archive’ page (YEP October 14) showing workmen digging up the old tramlines in 1957, “Would our roads have been less congested today if these tracks were still being used?”

Trams worked perfectly when there was little motorised traffic on the roads to get in their way.

They work very well today where they have dedicated space to which other road traffic does not have access.

The year 1957 saw the start of widespread use of motor cars by members of the public as more and more people were able to afford them.

Had that not happened the roads would not have become congested and trams would have remained viable.

Trams (and trolleybuses) do not work where they have to share the road space with other traffic.

You simply end up with even more congestion as the cars, vans, buses, motorbikes, etc, have even less space on the roads.

If they share space with other traffic then the congestion is worse and everything is held up every time they stop!

Trams are an excellent form of public transport on wide roads where there is plenty of space for the trams to be kept completely separate from all other traffic.

Where roads are narrow, such as along the proposed trolleybus (former Supertram) route they are totally impractical because of the extra congestion they would cause amongst modern-day traffic.

Under cross-examination at the Public Inquiry last year, the promoters of the trolleybus scheme (NGT) admitted that the scheme, should it go ahead, would cause more congestion than we have at present.

Russia right to be ruthless

R Pearson, Leeds 9

The US and British politicians condemned Putin for bombing rebel forces in Syria as well as IS but none of the anti-Assad forces are good guys.

It is an inconvenient truth that dictators seem to guarantee stable government while forcibly removing them brings mayhem and chaos.

Toppling Assad may make Obama and Cameron feel good but the carnage will continue in the ensuing power struggle,

For far too long the naive and flawed foreign policy of both the US and Britain has resulted in a disastrous mess both in the Middle East and North Africa.

In countries with no tradition or signs of democracy there is now a series of bloodbaths with no end in sight.

The USA and Britain applauded the so-called Arab Spring yet now armed gangs are in control in Libya ,Tunisia and Algeria with most of their weapons provided by the West.

This flawed policy is the sole reason for the masses of migrants and refugees fleeing from the chaos.

Russia has watched all of this in horror and is now prepared to do something about it while the US seems more intent on going back to their cold war tactics.

Which side are we really on in this war against terror and evil?

Putin is ruthless and he is right to be so.

Remembering cuckoo steps

F Daniels, Hunslet Carr

In answer to E Lundy, I remember the cuckoo steps. I had many scraped shin bones from playing with myf riends on them. We had lots of fun.

I still live in Hunslet Carr so there is a lot I remember about Hunslet.

Cuckoo steps wasn’t too far from Hunlet Lake where Mr Lundy played bowls with my Uncle Tommy Clayton and lots of bowlers I remember from that time.

How can this be an annex?

Ernest Lundy, by email

The discussion on Grammar schools rolls on! One of the main topics being that those attending constitute only a small proportion of children from poor families.

During my school days in the 30s I knew that from a class of 30 (in a catholic school) only two or three would have the chance of a scholarship into higher education.

But when, in an attempt to stop this short-sighted procedure, government rules were established some years back, stating that no new grammar schools should be built, in an attempt to achieve equal opportunities, they seemed to forget the main criteria, ability, regardless of family wealth!

However now that an existing grammar school in Kent has built a new school 10 miles away, larger than the original, and named it as an annexe, it is to be accepted as such.

But how can a new building 10 miles from another, described as an annexe be acceptable in view of the rules laid down my Mr Cameron those few short years ago?

If other establishments do the same the whole concept of equal opportunities in education (their words) will have proved to be a pipe dream. Providing of course that they were right in the first place.

Or was it just a case of muddled thinking?

Katya Jones with her celebrity partner Joe McFadden

YEP Letters: December 9