November 21: Warnings needed on train danger

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From: John Myddelton, Halifax Road, Ripponden, Sowerby Bridge.

SHORTLY after 9am on Thursday, a group of about 30 primary school age pupils was waiting on platform one at Sowerby Bridge station.

Upon hearing the announcement “the train approaching platform one is the 0909 train to Manchester”, many of the children moved expectantly towards the platform edge just as a non-stopping up-bound train dashed through, barely missing them.

The train driver was no doubt horrified to see children walking towards his train.

I have, over the past 10 years, occasionally written to Northern Rail about this wholly unacceptable matter. The last time I recall writing was after a period of frequent diversion of TransPennine Express trains, which often pass through Sowerby Bridge station at about 60 mph.

I have in the past asked that, very shortly before the passage of each non-stopping train through Sowerby Bridge station a safety announcement be made saying “Fast train approaching, please step back from the platform edge”, or even “Stand clear, the next train does not stop here”.

With the recent increase in coal and biomass traffic, there can be 16 or more daily freight train movements through Sowerby Bridge station as well as the unannounced four non-stopping passenger trains per hour.

Do we really need to wait for a fatality (or maybe a dozen) before this daily information technological failure is remedied?

Folly of the trolleybus

From: Christopher Todd, Emeritus Professor of French, University of Leeds, Cumberland Road, Leeds.

IN a document issued by the West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee on November 4 on the subject of the West Yorkshire ‘plus’ Transport Fund (Item 7), we read: “Work is about to commence to look at the feasibility of the NGT extension within the wider context of the development of a Leeds City Region Metro network.”

From this and other statements, we can see that the promoters of the trolleybus scheme are continue to behave as if the public inquiry – which was expensive and revealed the scheme’s many shortcomings – had not taken place.

When will they get into their heads that a trolleybus is no substitute for a tram? Like the latter it needs to be segregated, but it then needs more space, because of its twin sets of wires and lack of track. It cannot supply the same capacity with comfort and security. Not being on rails, it is not energy efficient. We are in danger of being saddled with a very expensive white elephant.

End shale gas madness

From: John Butcher, Troymede, Balcombe.

I CAN’T believe the Energy Secretary’s recent announcement on replacing coal with gas-fired power stations (The Yorkshire Post, November 19).

Scaling back on coal is good, but we can do so much better than switching to gas. Amber Rudd’s own climate advisory panel concluded that low-carbon sources are better than gas, so why is she determined to back gas?

The Government obsession with pushing domestic shale gas extraction is increasingly insane for economic and environmental reasons. The UK job creation talked up could occur equally under a renewable energy development strategy. The cost of generating electricity is higher with fossil fuels and nuclear than it is with renewables, so why force this extra cost onto the taxpayer?

UK fossil fuels industry already receive £5.9bn Government financial assistance compared to just £3.5bn for renewables. The gap will widen in 2016 when wind farm subsidies are cut, feed-in tariff rates are reduced and new tax breaks for the North Sea gas industry costing £1.7bn over five years are introduced.

The concern over lights going out is addressed by replacing production capacity lost from coal for sure, but it can be renewably sourced. Base load fluctuations in renewables reduce with each and every solar panel or wind turbine installation.

This Government is backing the wrong horse – a more environmentally dangerous and costly one.

Migration key to Europe issue

From: Dr Glyn Powell, Bakersfield Drive, 
Kellington, Goole.

AT long last Prime Minister David Cameron has outlined the parts of the European Union (EU) terms that should be changed.

Unfortunately, the key issue of unfettered EU immigration to Britain does not prominently feature. The nation cannot keep pace with the numbers coming here.

Also, unfettered EU immigration is driving down wages for indigenous Britons.

All very different to 1974 when pro-Europe politicians wrongly claimed that EU membership would boost industry and the economy.

They misled the people, turning Britain from the workshop of the world into a nation of supermarket shelf fillers. We must not be fooled again.

From: D Wood, Howden.

WHAT a very adroit letter from Les Arnott (The Yorkshire Post, November 16) regarding the EU and David Cameron’s woefully inadequate attempt at renegotiation.

Mr Arnott lists, as he says, just a few of the many disadvantages suffered by the UK during our membership of this abominable German dictatorship.

He, like me, could probably fill at least two full pages of The Yorkshire Post with reasons for leaving. I have yet to s hear one good one for being a member.

Britain was a great trading nation for more than 500 years before we joined the so called Common Market. Only our stupid subservience to the EU is preventing us from being so again.

The outside world awaits.