YP Letters: Virgin has improved East Coast rail services

Virgin Trains East Coast deny that journey times between York and London have slowed down.
Virgin Trains East Coast deny that journey times between York and London have slowed down.
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From: David Horne, Managing Director, Virgin Trains East Coast, Skeldergate, York.

VIRGIN has in fact cut journey times on the East Coast route since taking over the rail franchise (Paul Rouse, The Yorkshire Post, December 12).

Comparing our new timetable launched this weekend with the timetable in operation prior to Virgin’s takeover, 25 out of the 36 daily services between York and London are, in fact, quicker under Virgin. Following a review of journey times that my team undertook last year, we have improved the journey times for these services by between one and three minutes.

There are now more than 50 per cent more trains each weekday from York to London than in 1997 when Mr Rouse was a regular user of the East Coast line. Indeed just this week Virgin has launched a new late-night service from London to York on weekdays as well as three additional services between York and the capital on Sundays.

With our on-board entertainment system ‘Beam’, menus by James Martin and our new fleet of Azuma trains arriving in 2018, the timetable improvements are just one element of the package of enhancements that Virgin is already delivering.

Get tough on deadly drivers

From: Edward Grainger, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.

WILL life mean life? Those who have had their and their loved ones’ futures turned upside down, will, I am sure, have been gratefully encouraged by the comments of the Government’s Justice Minister Sam Gyimah on the question of “killer drivers”. His assertion that “if you drive dangerously and kill you could face a life sentence”, is very welcome news.

However, The Yorkshire Post’s revelation that given the present law that not one drunk or maniac motorist convicted of careless 
or dangerous driving has received the current 14 years maximum sentence for such irresponsible behaviour in charge of a motor vehicle is not surprising – nor is the average custodial sentence for culpable actions behind the wheel of only four years.

Cycling families, in particular, are at a serious disadvantage with the judicial process, as all those involved in the case before the court will, as law officers, be motorists with a built-in sympathy for the accused.

The problem for cyclists is that most often we must leave the safety of a special lane or path to complete a journey by bike, almost inevitably putting ourselves in danger from the worst actions of the dangerous drivers, drunk, using a mobile phone or excessively speeding.

Debt weighs on families

From: Andrea Trangmar, Slaithwaite.

AS we approach the Christmas season, I’m supporting The Children’s Society campaign to protect the estimated 15,700 children living in problem debt in Kirklees.

These children are five times more likely to be unhappy than children in families without debt troubles. That’s why we’re calling on the Government to introduce a ‘Breathing Space’ scheme – to give parents time to get their finances back in order.

Too often families fall into debt because of unexpected life events. They need time and space to repay their debts, rather than being chased by bailiffs.

When some families are being forced to cut back on food and heating, we need our politicians to get behind this campaign.

Accept the referendum

From: Geoffrey Thorpe, Lister Avenue, East Bowling, Bradford.

FOR the last six months, the result of the EU referendum has been the hot news every day of every week. Court cases now ensue to stop Article 50 being invoked and the latest news is that the ‘Remoaners’ are going to the Irish courts to help stop or delay Article 50.

If, at the next General Election, somebody decides they don’t like the result, will they be entitled to go to court and ask for another election? Why don’t the

Remainers grow up and accept defeat?

From: Phyllis Capstick, Hellifield, Skipton.

WE live in a corrupt society. If the Brexit vote is overturned, that will be confirmed.

Joined-up care needed

From: Hilary Andrews, Leeds.

SO councils could increase council tax in order to cover social care. Surely the solution of bed blocking by older patients who need care but, but not in hospital, is to amalgamate the NHS and social care funding from central Government?

If we had had an ageing population at the inception of the NHS, “care from cradle to grave” would surely have included social care. In my view, leaving it to councils is a greater risk of “postcode lottery” care.

Truth will out

From: Eddie Peart, Broom Crescent, Rotherham.

THE Government is to publish 30 files on the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ in the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike.

Why not all the files? What 
has the Government to fear from the truth?