YEP Letters: October 6

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Emergency plan to end traffic chaos in city

Michael Meadowcroft, by email

Your article “Leeds suffers road chaos” (October 2) sets out blandly the gridlock which afflicted Leeds for some four hours last Thursday.

No-one objects at all to delays occasioned by a serious accident but the consequences to traffic do not have to be so traumatic. It is unacceptable that any accident on the inner ring road blocks all movement in all directions as was the case on Thursday.

In the long run there needs to be genuine alternative routes but that will take time and money. In the meantime there needs to be an emergency plan to ameliorate the traffic blockages when an accident occurs at different points on the inner ring road rather than simply abandoning the city centre completely.

Of course the police’s first priority is to deal with the accident and with those injured but it does not need great resources to deal with the traffic.

For instance, on Thursday, when the primary accident was on the exit from the inner ring road, almost opposite the Round House, it would have been possible to divert traffic emerging from the tunnel to the left towards City Square and to the right down Kirkstall Road. Both are very busy but would have certainly kept moving.

Secondly, a major problem for traffic trying to get anywhere in the city centre - into or out of Leeds - was that cars blocked junctions so that it was impossible to move in or out.

If there were box junctions at all key cross roads it would at least inhibit such blockages and give the police the authority to act on those who infringe them.

Equivalent plans could be put in operation for an accident or breakdown at any point on the inner ring road. Such plans are urgently needed before the next incident.


Rail link to airport

Martin J Phillips, Cookridge

Councillor Richard Lewis supports the option of increased road links to Leeds/Bradford by saying that people prefer to travel there by car.

I’m sure most people also prefer to travel to work by car but look what would happen if they all did: gridlock on all the feeder roads into Leeds and a city centre choc-a-bloc with parked cars.

The whole point of public transport is to offer a viable alternative to the car. Manchester Airport has successfully done this with a railway line straight to the airport causing more people from Yorkshire to choose this option rather than driving to Leeds/Bradford airport.

Increasing road access to the airport will not encourage people to switch from going to Manchester by rail to going by car to Leeds/Bradford especially when they know it will cost more to fly from Leeds/Bradford and there is a huge parking fee on top of that.

Leeds/Bradford will only be able to compete with Manchester if there is a rail link to the airport, either a railway link or a light rail link (tram). Until this is built, the local councils should be promoting the use of the special bus services to the airport to reduce the number of cars on the road.

The only people who will benefit from more road transport to the airport is the airport itself from the revenue raised from parking fees.

Surely X Factor has had its day?

Dave Linfoot, Whinmoor

The anguished baying of the incensed mob, whipped into a frenzy by the bizarre spectacle unfolding before it.

They scream, they rant, they gesticulate, angrily demanding the sacrifice of the vanquished. They signal with their fingers up and their thumbs down, imploring their Emperor to grant their demand.

Sure enough their pleas are heard and the lifeless body of the latest hapless victim is dragged away through the dust and debris to be cast aside and instantly forgotten.

In the meantime, the survivors live to fight another day as they gloat and glory in their victory; but, for most of them too, a grisly end will come soon enough.

Is this the gladiatorial combat of ancient Rome set in the cacophony of the Colosseum? No, it is Emperor Cowell’s modern day equivalent, the X Factor ‘Six Chair Challenge’.

Surely this cruel farce of a show has, like ancient Rome, long since had its day. It should be consigned to the dustbin of history along with its barbaric predecessor.

Treat pets as we would relatives

Sara Atkinson, founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue, Keighley

I read an article on your website about how people take five days off work in a year due to a problem with their pet, but that over a quarter of people feel they can’t be honest with their employer about the reason for needing this time off.

And just this week, Princess Michael of Kent was quoted saying that animals don’t have rights because they don’t pay taxes.

Considering how much joy and comfort pets bring to our lives, I am saddened that we still can’t feel free to treat and care for them as we would for our relatives.

The fear of repercussions if we are honest about what happens behind closed doors is something that is now causing us real problems. Over the course of the last 12 months, Yorkshire Cat Rescue has helped social housing residents where a single pet has become an entire colony under their noses.

They have been afraid to ask for help, to be honest with their friends, neighbours or employers about the problem, and have instead sunk deeper into trouble.

These are not bad people. They have usually kindly opened their home to one or two abandoned animals, not realising that they could breed if not neutered.

Or they might not have been able to take the time off work to visit a vet, or been able to pay for it. Two very quickly turn into 20.

The fear of being honest about their situation lies at the heart of why it begins to escalate.

It is the fear of what others might think, and of the repercussions which could including losing their home.

There is a long way to go before domesticated pets are treated with the same rights and the same compassion extended to us humans.

And until they are, those who value them as family will struggle to find sympathy for their actions and choices.