In defence of railway effort for the Tour

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From: Professor Paul Salveson, Golcar, Huddersfield.

YOUR Editorial and letters regarding Northern Rail’s handling of “Le Tour” crowds was hugely unfair (The Yorkshire Post, July 12). Northern and TransPennine Express put on a considerable number of additional services and strengthened many timetabled trains.

As far as I could see, every spare train was pressed into service and staff at all levels did a magnificent job under huge pressure. Contrary to what The Yorkshire Post says, I know of many directors of Northern and TransPennine who worked long hours on both days helping to move the crowds.

Northern and TransPennine staff mucked in together, forgetting company distinctions: they worked as one railway. The reality is that decades of under-investment in rail has meant that there no longer exist lots of spare vehicles to respond to major events and as many as possible extra trains were hired in for the weekend. And Le Tour was probably the biggest event Yorkshire has seen for decades.

The challenge facing the train operators was compounded by many roads being closed. And when tens of thousands of people decide they all want to go home at the same time, it’s inevitable that there would be long queues.

I hold no brief for the privatised railway; there are ways we could organise our railways better. But let’s give credit to our railwaymen and women who have retained a strong ethos of public service and commitment to their industry.

Synod’s soul searching

From: MP Laycock, Harrogate.

YOUR Editorial (The Yorkshire Post, July 12) states “General Synod will spend the weekend at York soul-searching about...women bishops” and “this issue will be as divisive as [in] ... November 2012”.

On the contrary, that “soul-searching” had already taken place during the past 18 months.

Many supporters of women as bishops voted against the 2012 resolution because it was so divisive. In particular it did not make realistic provision for those who believe, as I do, that our own Church of England does not have competence to take this decision in isolation from the rest of God’s church.

When police looked smart

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield, East Yorkshire.

I HAVE to agree very strongly with your correspondent Peter Bye (The Yorkshire Post, July 12). Police are scruffy these days. As a young constable in the 50s, we were inspected by the sergeant before we went onto the streets and any scruffiness was severely frowned upon.

Later, as an inspector, I once sent a PC home to shave himself. We were allowed moustaches but certainly no designer stubble or beards.

Ties were the order of the day and it was an advance to have clip-on ties for safety reasons.

I don’t blame the officers at all, the national police uniform may be more comfortable but it certainly does not lend itself to smartness and the natural respect that comes from it.

Timewasters abuse NHS

From: Brian H Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

FULL marks to Hilary Andrews (The Yorkshire Post, July 12)for daring to identify a problem 
with the NHS that doctors are too professional to talk about; that is, patients. The Latin root of the word “patient” is the verb “to suffer”.

While waiting for a disabled friend at a surgery recently, I naively asked the receptionist how many of the 31 missed appointments posted over the last week had been preceded by a phone call. “None”, was the reply.

Add to this the number of people who show up regularly who are not really suffering and one begins to marvel at the “patience” of the doctors.

This is not to encourage people to take chances with their health, but our overworked GPs know who the time-wasters are. And how many people who could afford to buy medication over the counter waste NHS time and money by demanding it on prescription? Too many people think that because they have paid into a system they have the right to abuse it.

Landscape 
in danger

From: David Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe, Rotherham.

SO the quest to get as many wind turbines as is physically possible onto the picturesque landscape of East Yorkshire by the energy companies goes on unabated “Wind farms industrialising area” (The Yorkshire Post, July 11).

I wonder if it has occurred to councillors and residents, that there may well now be an attitude afoot that since the East Riding is already looking like an industrial landscape, with its 226 turbines above 50 metres high, further development cannot make the situation any worse. You cannot spoil what is already spoilt.

As a former caravan owner on a Holderness park for some 13 years, I witnessed most of this development taking place, being actively involved in one of the few successful appeals, against a wind farm at the village of Tunstall. But what has, and still is taking place is a systematic ‘wearing down’ process.

And let’s not forget that fracking is on the horizon.