No queues for Meadowhall from North

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From: Don Metcalfe, Annes Court, Southowram, Halifax.

I READ with interest Jane Lovering’s “Viewpoint” (The Yorkshire Post, December 3).

My wife and I were making a leisurely return from the Christmas Spectacular at Thursford. We joined the M1 at Worksop to go North. Almost as soon as we joined the M1, warning signs were lit up to tell us of a queue at a junction.

That junction turned out to be for Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield. A four-mile queue was formed on the centre and inner lanes.

As we passed Meadowhall on the Tinsley viaduct we noted that all the car parks appeared to be full. Where would the cars in the queue park?

At the north end of Tinsley, we looked for a queue of vehicles coming from the North to Meadowhall. It was non-existent.

We asked ourselves a reason for this. We could only assume that the short arms and long pockets of the West Riding had prevailed and that no trip to Meadowhall was necessary.

Governed by the clowns

From: Robert Reynolds, West Bank, Batley.

Having analysed the Autumn Statement, I can confirm that we’re being governed by clowns.

One of them, Ken Clarke, appeared on Newsnight to tell us of the benefits of George Osborne’s vandalism of our nation. Questioned on defence, he replied: “We got rid of the tanks, we don’t need them to fight terrorists.” This ignores Vladumir Putin, who has increased military spending by 30 per cent. More than 15,000 tanks are on Russias borders, some now in eastern Ukraine.

Then he had the gall to say “Keynesians have been discredited”. Keynes stated that governments should balance their budgets over the economic cycle – which is boom and bust. During bad years, Government should spend more to boost consumption, then recoup any borrowings by tax in good years. This principle still works.

The problem is that politicians came bouncing along, promising the world, and got us into massive debt that we’re now struggling to pay. Keynes has not been discredited. It’s the clowns who govern us who are to blame.

From: ME Wright, Grove Road, Harrogate.

USING classic weasel words, George Osborne informs us that rail operators are to be “encouraged” to replace the North’s Pacer trains (The Yorkshire Post, December 4).

Could not this encouragement be reinforced by ordering that pacers be exchanged for the decades-younger diesels operating in the Home Counties? The pinstriped howls greeting them would surely bring forth immediate funding for urgent replacements from the bottomless crock of gold at the end of the Crossrail rainbow.

From: Jeff Thomas, Strait Lane, Huby, Leeds,

THE Chancellor’s announcement regarding phasing out the Pacer diesel units is, I would suggest, unlikely to happen until 2020 at the earliest, simply because of the lengthy lead time necessary for the tendering and bid process alone. Northern Rail seems to be the dumping ground for these ageing units. I foresee that when electrification is complete in and around Greater Manchester, new electric stock will replace pacers over there, which would in all probability mean they would end up in the Leeds area to relieve overcrowding on many West Yorkshire routes. I hope I am proved to be wrong!

From: Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

I HONESTLY believe in the analysis by the BBC, rather than the lies perpetuated by Treasury spin, on the state of the UK’s economy in the past, now and in the future. The BBC provide the facts, while, whoever is in power, constantly deceives.

Like turning an oil tanker

From: Alec Denton, Guiseley.

THE article about vocational studies by Dominic Raab (The Yorkshire Post, December 3) was interesting and sadly probably correct to suggest that a snobbish attitude has developed towards anything post-school other than a full-time university education, even though a number courses are, as he says, “Mickey Mouse”.

The real problem began some 25-30 years ago when huge political pressure began to be placed on schools to retain all able students to 18 and then for the students to go straight to university. The driver then was not snobbishness, it was the ignorance of our politicians, too many of whom were products of a university education followed by a law qualification. They had no awareness of the enormous value of combining work with academic studies, not just for the plumbers, electricians and chefs Mr Raab referred to, but also for professions such as accountancy, administration and science.

I have experienced day release courses as a student, an employer and a lecturer and their disappearance from the world of work is tragic and a huge loss. We are told for example that London would grind to a halt without the presence of large numbers of Croatian electricians – Ukip take note.

With schools and parents conditioned to believe university is the only serious option, trying to reverse the emphasis must be a bit like trying to turn about a supertanker with an outboard motor.