YEP Letters: September 15

Have your say

What’s this? Leeds City Council saying they are going to declutter the Headrow? Some clear thinking at long last.

Or at least it will be if they continue the policy on other routes that matter.

Lets face it, the city centre road network can hardly cope with the number of rush hour buses and cars, never mind making it safer for cyclists.

The fact is hundreds of thousands of commuters travel into the centre every day by public transport or private cars and will continue to do so.

Roads are the arteries that carry the life blood of people and goods into Leeds that it needs to thrive.

If the arteries in your body become clogged you need urgent attention otherwise -- well you know what will happen.

But throughout the city centre the planners have narrowed busy roads down causing congestion.

A few months ago a businessman in The Calls complained when the council painted double yellow lines on the road which affected his business.

A council spokeswomen replied that they had a duty to keep the road clear. Now this is in The Calls, which is hardly a major route.

Nearby, the road from City Square to the market and bus station carries over 30 different buses.

Yet along this stretch there are numerous pinch points, inadequate sized bus stops and badly designed junctions.

If you look at the bus stop by the Corn Exchange there is space for two buses yet often there are four or five arriving at the same time with nowhere to go but block the road.

Further down there is also the issue of taxis and cars often doing U-turns and parking in bus laybys to drop and pick up by the market, causing even more congestion.

And yet there is a solution.

First, provide a proper place for cars to drop off and pick up for Kirkgate Market, the bus station and the National Express Station by reducing the size of the proposed huge multi-storey car park on the Millgarth site to allow for it.

It has to be big enough for at least 30 cars and not just a layby. It could include a covered waiting area for shoppers and revert to a pay and display after 6pm.

Improve the flow along New York Street and by the Corn Exchange by removing the constricted areas where possible and improve the junction with St Peter’s Street by the bus station which is often congested by buses waiting to turn left. Improve inadequate bus laybys where possible to cope with the number of buses that use them.

This would cost money but a fraction of what is being proposed on the proposed trolleybus scheme and would vastly improve over 30 bus routes and also give better access to the market.

Richard Naylor, Leeds

How to cut cycle injuries down

On the subject of cyclists being injured on our roads (YEP, September 3), there would be fewer accidents if:

1. They stopped riding two or even three abreast on very busy roads such as the Ring Road through Seacroft and Roundhay.

2. They always used lights at dusk and at night.

3. When they see a line of motorists patiently waiting at a red light they stopped instead of sailing through the red light and causing motorists crossing their path on green to brake to avoid hitting them.

4. All cyclists took a cycling proficiency test such as the police used to organise for schoolchilldren (perhaps the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents could organise this).

5. Cyclists didn’t always blame motorists for accidents or near misses but looked to their own behaviour and attitude.

If we all (motorists and cyclists) practised courtesy and consideration there would be fewer accidents!

Name and address supplied

No winner in this conflict

It appears Nato is somewhat reluctant and undecided about ‘united’ action against Russia – the only ‘alliance’ I see is the one between the UK and the US.

Regarding IS, the waters are being made muddier on a daily basis.

Within the coalition, there is no clear consensus on what measures should be taken regarding returning possible British IS recruits.

The Government is in an unenviable position when it comes to the kidnapping of UK citizens.

The dilemma as to whether we pay for hostage release cannot be easily solved.

Whichever way we turn, there is no winner. If we decline, the hostage faces certain beheading; if we pay, it shows an inherent weakness, which the terrorists will exploit.

Nevertheless, we hear about ‘Western response’, ‘European condemnation’, ‘joint military action’ and other similar platitudes.

Again, it is to all intents and purposes the UK and America. Where do the majority of European countries sit on the IS question?

I hear nothing from the likes of Germany, Spain, Scandinavia, Italy Switzerland, France, Austria and Hungary – apart from the settling of ransoms by certain countries who have weakened.

Why is there not a joint, united EU policy? After all, we all face the same home-based terror threat. Or do we?

Where is the oft-trumpeted ‘Nato Pact?’ Why haven’t they yet got their act together on the aforementioned issues?

Also, isn’t world terrorism a United Nations problem? Or has that weak body used all its condemnations on Syria, Israel and Russia?

When the chips are down in world affairs, it’s Britain and the US who are always in the vanguard, left to face the music. Let nobody ever question the validity of the oft-quoted ‘special relationship’.

Without it, we are at the whim of a pathetic EU.

R Miller, Alwoodley

Is there any truth to this?

I am trying to obtain some information regarding Remembrance Day commemorations in the Yorkshire area. I believe that in or around Leeds a totally unique act of remembrance regularly takes place.

I have reason to believe that alongside the standard British Legion poppies so very familiar to us all, that one village or town regularly commemorates the French sacrifice by selling French ‘Le Bluet’ cornflowers, the French equivalent of the poppy.

Both grew side by side in Flanders fields and the Blue Cornflower was taken as the emblem of the French soldiers.

Apparently the area was either where French troops were billeted or stationed, or possibly where French troops were hospitalised during the First World War.

I have very little to go on but this French emblem of sacrifice is apparently regularly sold alongside poppies during the weeks immediately prior to Remembrance Day in November.

If anyone can assist me with any information regarding this unique tribute to the fallen of the First World War, particularly in this 100th anniversary year, it would be greatly appreciated.

Terry Underwood, Jersey

Road surfaces are unsafe

Regarding the letter from David Prestley about a rough surface being laid on top of an already good road surface (YEP, August 27) this is fairly common, probably to give a longer life and save money.

It is, however, unsafe for cyclists until all the loose chippings have gone.

What I have noticed is if there were any chips in the road they are still there afterwards and a pothole becomes half a pothole, so it’s a poor substitute for the normal resurfacing. It’s certainly not doing cyclists any favour.

AE Hague, Harehills

YEP Letters: February 19