One of the persuasive arguments for the present Leeds NGT scheme is that of inevitability: something must be done to solve the traffic and transport problem and the NGT Scheme, to which so much hard work has been dedicated, is the only present solution to the problem.
How could one object to such a scheme when the consequences of refusing it are so dire?
And yet all this has a curiously familiar ring. In 1983, the West Yorkshire County Council (then the Highway Authority in Leeds), brought out proposals for ‘improvements’ to the A660 Corridor, again with dire warnings that (quote) ‘failure to cater for this extra demand will result in increased delays to all traffic for a greater period of time and cause an overall deterioration in bus services, road safety and the environment’.
The Scheme (of which there were several options) was vigorously opposed by Residents’ Groups, the West Yorks Group of the Victorian Society and the Leeds Civic Trust and was eventually abandoned.
Since that time the ‘dire warnings’ have come to nothing.
My assessment, as a long term resident is that the A660 is no more congested than it was 30 years ago.
The present NGT scheme is less destructive than those of the WYCC, but it is still destructive.
It is not inevitable. Indeed it may well be the case that with rapid developments in electric/hybrid traction now taking place, it will be seen to be as outmoded as the ‘Expressway’ plans of earlier generations of Road Engineers.
Christopher Hammond, by email
Music that’s very annoying
IT IS AMAZING that while music can be food for the soul and cools the savage breast, it can also be a source of great annoyance when we obtain it second hand from inconsiderate neighbours.
Or with ghetto blasters on the beach or played full volume in open top cars with windows down, mainly by those who think we should all listen to and enjoy their music.
Other places where we are obliged to listen to background music such as cafes and restaurants, supposedly to add atmosphere, along with films, plays, TV commercials and sporting events, can be downright irritating and completely distracting, making any kind of meaningful conversation almost impossible.
One of the worst offenders is the BBC’s Radio 5 live station, where often, for far too long, a repetitive pre-recorded fill in time piece of information on sport and other events, is enough to drive one mad.
At the end of which when the piece starts again, it sounds like an old engine having difficulty starting.
Please BBC, if you must fill in time between programmes stop this nonsense and do something different and more restful.
It is totally off-putting and does nothing for the programme’s image.
As some old bard or another once said: “If music indeed be the food of love, then play on!” But please (my words) not with the kind of stuff we are being fed too often and too loud in situations where it does little other than distract and annoy.
P Parker, Belle Isle
Scapegoating jobless people
TORY GOVERNMENTS have always scapegoated the unemployed, it’s all part of their divide and rule policy which they rely on to keep them in office.
Unemployment is not just a problem in this country, there are over 26 million people out of work in the EU.
The number of people who have been unemployed for over a year has doubled in the last five years to 11 million.
In a quarter of EU countries youth unemployment ranged between 33 per cent and 60 per cent.
Those people are victims of economic policies that use the unemployed to put fear into those in work who are frightened of losing their jobs.
High unemployment keeps wages down, wages in this country have fallen behind prices in 39 of the 40 months of this government’s tenancy.
Don’t let the government scapegoat the unemployed and don’t let them fool you that they stand for hard working people because they don’t.
John Appleyard, Liversedge
A contradiction from the PM
Watched some of Prime Minister’s Question Time yesterday and watched Cameron’s bluster about the need for increased competition with amazement.
What was clear was that this man will do anything rather than tackle the energy companies. And then part of his solution was more regulation to ensure greater competition! What a contradiction for a Conservative Prime Minister!
The public utilities were privatised by Thatcher on the premise that competition is good.
I don’t know about other folk, but I’ve noticed no lack of competition within these industries - apart from Water and railways, where it’s largely an irrelevance. The east Coast main line seems to be doing OK as a (temporarily it seems) public utility, soon to be sold off to the previously failed privatised process.
We have super competitive energy and telecom companies. The trouble is that all the competition seems to be directed towards attracting new customers, and that is being done by intensive advertising campaigns, rather than providing better or cheaper services. Who doesn’t get bored with all the TV ads, or annoyed by the vast reams of unsolicited mail from Satellite/cable companies?
Tony Schofield, Pudsey
High price for green energy
I have just read in a magazine that according to NASA there is now an all time high of Antarctic sea ice.
It seems also according to the International Panel for Climate Change ‘there has been no statistically significant increase in global temperature since 1997’.
Can someone explain therefore why I, and millions like me, are struggling to afford our electricity bills which carry a 17% premium for so called green energy?
Jane Collins, UKIP Euro election candidate
Fine film was a nice surprise
AMIDST the dross which TV companies assault our eyes with on a daily basis there is , very occasionally , something that is not only worth watching but touching and thought provoking.
As is often the case, a film, “Is Anybody There ?” ( BBC 1 ) began at 11:35 p.m. and ended at 01:05 a.m.
Given this schedule it is unlikely that it was viewed by the size of audience it so richly deserved
A fine cast led by Michael Cain ( of whom I have not always been an admirer ) told the story of a very unlikely friendship between a young boy and an old man in a care home.
The boy Edward was convinced that the paranormal, including life-after-death existed, whilst super grumpy Clarence wasn’t convinced that life-during-life was always a good idea!
The inter-action was compelling and heartwarming.
Offerings earlier in the evening from the same channel included “The One Show.” Later we were treated to “Father Figure”. To label it garbage would suggest that it was rather better than it was.
If I had used in this letter the words that I was directing at the TV you would never have considered printing it.
Because you have been kind enough to include a number of my contributions over the last few years my brother-in-law now refers to me as “Imagine My Surprise !” (sounds about right ).
Jack Banner, Leeds