Uneasy riders – on the road and by rail

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From: Hazel Maxwell, St Winifreds Road, Harrogate.

FOLLOWING on from Andrew Vine’s column “Close shave shows the need for mutual respect on road” (The Yorkshire Post, June 17), I am a cyclist and have cycled all my life.

I encounter very similar problems cycling (a very short distance) to work. I work in a high school, and the cycle lane near the school goes through traffic lights.

Obviously, children are often let out of the car at traffic lights, while the lights are red, but often with no thought as to whether there is a cyclist coming down the cycle lane – the cycle lane is not huge, and there is space only for either a cyclist or a car door.

I have had too many near misses (one extremely close one), so for this portion of the cycle lane, I cycle (with respect for pedestrians) on the pavement.

Other problems on the cycle lane are cars swerving in to the cycle lane, either to pass a vehicle trying to turn right, or to see what the hold-up is further up the road. Both of these are extremely dangerous for cyclists.

High vehicles also, such as buses or lorries, make an experienced cyclist feel very uneasy cycling in the small cycle lane gap beside it.

From: Mr KS Chapman, Olive Grove, Harrogate.

I RECENTLY visited Thirsk by train. I took my bicycle as I like to cycle around the country lanes.

On arrival at Thirsk, I managed with the help of another passenger to get my bike up the stairs. At the moment I am partially disabled due to having a major hernia operation recently.

On my return to the station, I decided to ask for help to get my bike either down the steps or across the line, due to the fact that it was laden down with shopping from Thirsk market.

I was informed in no uncertain terms by the young man at the ticket desk that no help would be given. I asked why this was and was told that they had not done this for three years now and it was to do with health and safety.

I then had to unload all the shopping off my bike making two journeys, then struggle down the steps with it.

This affected my hernia and I was laid up in pain for the following four days.

So how do wheelchair-bound passengers get across the line? It is just not good enough at all in 2014.

Coal subsidy makes sense

From: Roger Whitaker, Dale View, Hardwick Road, Pontefract.

I AM retired and have never been employed directly or indirectly in the mining industry. I would think everybody would like to live in a world where the air is not polluted by carbon gases or anything else, whether or not they believe pollution is a cause of climate change.

In your paper (The Yorkshire Post, June 16), Chris Broome tells us why it is wrong to subsidise fossil fuels, but other than nuclear and maybe hydro power, what are the other reliable alternatives for electricity generation?

If we assume all coal burns the same, and I know it doesn’t, then that which is imported from Australia, America, Russia and other places is more polluting than home produced coal because of the extra handling that is needed to move it from source to power station, and the carbon footprint of the ships that transport it.

Coal produced at Kellingley can almost be thrown to Eggborough power station, and not much more effort is needed to transport it to Drax or Ferrybridge.

Isn’t the carbon capture programme a way of preventing the carbon gases escaping into the atmosphere? Our own produced coal also guarantees supply of a vital resource. In my opinion these are good enough reasons to subsidise the mining industry.

So perhaps Chris Broome and his organisation should be throwing their weight behind 
the carbon capture scheme 
and finding ways to burn coal that doesn’t pollute the atmosphere.

A similar argument about pollution and the carbon footprint can be applied to imported biomass.

Fines hit the customers

From: H. Marjorie Gill, Clarence Drive, Menston.

WE read many times about this firm or that organisation being fined very large amounts of money.

It never appears to be individual people who have 
to pay these fines, but organisations such as schools and hospitals, which seems ridiculous, depriving the 
given organisation of the 
means to carry out its job 
and making it more in debt 
than ever.

However what I would like to know is where the money goes and to whom the fine is paid?

Who gets the benefit from these fines and who is accountable for the collection and distribution of the 
money?

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield, East Yorkshire.

I FAIL to see the point of fining Yorkshire Building Society £3.4m for misleading investors (I am one of their customers).

The investors have already been hit by the misinformation and are being hit yet again by the fine which has to come out of the same investors’ pockets.

A far better idea would be to fine the actual personnel responsible.