Only build on green belt as a last resort

Have your say

From: Rob Elliott, Scooby Street, Greasbrough

I REFER to Councillor Elizabeth Nash’s letter (Yorkshire Post, August 12) which was in reply 
to my letter about building on green belt land. Her response is one typical of the present day Labour party, ie blame someone else and then whinge and moan, saying they can not do anything about it.

Coun Nash says that “all council hands are tied because of coalition policy on green belt”. I would like to remind her that the freeing up of green belt for building started under the last labour administration, John Prescott famously saying “the green belt is a Labour achievement and we intend to build on it”.

Granted the coalition have asked all councils to draft plans for future housing, but nowhere does it say that green belt must be used.

In my opinion, if there is sufficient brown field sites, then they should be used first. Green belt should only be built on as a last resort.

Coun Nash also says there 
are plenty of brown field sites
 in her constituency but that no one would want to live there.

Surely she would be doing 
her constituents a service if 
she acted for them by 
demanding housing in the constituency, thereby giving a new lease of life?

Common sense on the roads

From: Dennis Whitaker, Baildon, Shipley.

TWO of the three road traffic offences for which fines have been increased are quite sensible. In extreme cases, tail-gaters should be relieved of their 
driving licences and with the increase in cars being fitted 
with ‘Bluetooth’, the use of telephones whilst driving is little different from having a passenger in the car.

For cars without “Bluetooth”, hands-free sets are available 
from car accessory retailers so again there is no excuse for holding a mobile phone whilst driving.

Drivers hogging the middle lane! A bit contentious this 
one. Many stretches of 
motorway, especially the M25, have four and five lanes and traffic spread evenly, keeping their distance, enables drivers to see ahead, thus avoiding motorway pile-ups! Keeping everyone to one side is a recipe for disaster.

I have travelled as a coach passenger in cities as far apart as Montreal, Washington DC and Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles freeway has at least six lanes in parts and lane discipline is of paramount importance.

In the States, overtaking is done on both sides. Whether legal or not, it is done on the M25 in the UK so why not on all UK motorways?

That way, the middle lane hog has a choice but must adhere to lane-discipline.

I have witnessed lane-hopping without consideration for other road-users and believe this should be an offence, best caught on camera, of course!

Take politics out of education

From: David W.Wright, Uppleby, Easingwold.

WHAT a shambles! The reports (Yorkshire Post, August 13 and 14) have highlighted the complete mess of the current examination system coupled with the failure of the comprehensive system and the dumbing-down of higher education through the proliferation of universities which offer subjects that are completely useless and irrelevant both to students and the economy of the country.

The demise of the once respected grammar school prior to the radical changes of the 1960s and the introduction of the current examination system to replace the old General School Certificate and Higher Certificates has been a failure, not helped by successive governments and amateur politicians who for purely dogmatic and political reasons have debased and changed for changing sake resulting in dumbed-down and meaningless qualifications and grades.

There is a strong case for education to be taken out of the control of politicians and replaced by a professionally-based department out of the influence and control of politicians who change constantly.

Better vision for high speed rail

From: Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Lavington Street, London.

YOU express concern that Ministers will abandon HS2 in the face of pressure from lobbying groups such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England (Yorkshire Post, August 19)).

I should make clear that CPRE is not calling for HS2 to be abandoned. We recognise the need for more rail capacity and for a greater sharing of wealth across the country.

From the start we have supported high speed rail and argued the case for doing HS2 better, with as little damage to 
the landscape and as much benefit to rural communities as possible.

The interactive maps of the route we have just published ( can help us get a better railway, assuming the project goes ahead.

They are the first that allow people to scan the whole length of the proposed route and zoom in on particular areas.

I hope your readers will find CPRE’s maps useful in responding to HS2 Ltd’s consultation on the proposed route through Yorkshire.