Driven to distraction by MP’s comment

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From: Karl Sheridan, Selby Road, Holme on Spalding Moor.

Listening to Tory MP Tim Yeo’s comments on BBC’s Radio 4 prior to the fuel debate almost made me want to throttle the man for his crass indifference to the plight of rural motorists, or indeed the motoring public at all.

His comment that motorists didn’t really seem bothered about the cost of fuel, as there were plenty of garages selling cheaper fuel, was typical of a smug self- satisfied public servant who has no concept of the realities of life, least of all of for those who pay taxes to support him in his carefree life of expenses and expected gold-plated pension.

Sadly this is typical of a great number of MPs who have never experienced hardship or had to make tough choices on their expenditure, living as they do in the virtual-reality world of Westminster.

I am staggered at the naivety of the man who blithely casts off the fuel cost rises as part of the “big” plan to make the UK greener than anyone else and that we will have to lump it.

Fine, no doubt once the spiralling recession bites even harder, driven by Tory ineptness, we will indeed be far greener because there will be no traffic around: apart from those very wealthy businessmen and MPs who will be the only ones able to afford fuel and who will no doubt relish the lack of annoying plebs on the ro. And as for his comments on those who chose to live in rural areas as being victims of their own choice….

Governments need to remember the reason behind their being elected, we hope they will run the country to our benefit and not to our detriment, yet it appears that through no fault of our own we are being bled dry.

Remember, Mr Yeo – there is only a year or so to the next general election!

From: Tim Mickleburgh, 11 Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

So the AA think (Yorkshire Post November 14) that rising fuel duty is splitting the country into the “drives and the drive-nots”.

But surely the real division in society is between those who are car owners, and those forced to rely on public transport?

We in the latter group face both rising fares and reduced services as the coalition Government cuts the bus fuel subsidy given to companies. And if we want to travel by bus on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day, it’s a case of tough luck.

From: Betty Peel, Wharfedale, Filey.

When fuel tax is increased we all tend to think about the cost of filling up our cars, but it also means that the cost of everything we buy will increase as everything travels by road.

The government wouldn’t dare to introduce VAT on food, medicines, milk – they don’t need to.

Just increase the fuel tax and they can rob even the poorest of families who do not own a car.

From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue Settle.

HM Government make great play of the fact that accidents have reduced on our roads in general over the past two years, this to promote their wish to raise the motorway speed limit to 80mph.

What they neglect to mention is another fact. Drivers are driving slower and safer due to the exorbitant cost of fuel.

By way of example last week I was driving east on the M65. I put my car into cruise control at 65 mph and it was noticeable that a majority of cars in particular were cruising at this speed, enough to pass the heavies safely on the inside lane but still in my case running at 60mpg as against an overall 52 mpg.

Perhaps it is just coincidence that so many of us were travelling at this speed though I doubt it.

There are of course other issues such as reducing the environmental impact by restricting speed. Another not touched on is that as one gets older, reaction time is longer so one should drive slower to achieve this.

Does this mean that all oldies should be banned on motorways, this to allow for those members of the get-there-yesterday brigade presently driving at 85 mph-plus and who, were the new proposal to become law, would expect to be able to drive at 95mph without fear of prosecution?

Come on MPs get real, you may have the brass to drive at warp speed, most of your constituents do not, nor do they wish to.

A history of engine trouble

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

I have read Roger Ratcliffe’s article (Yorkshire Post, November 15) with great interest. I have been an auto engineer all my working life (52 years) and have never had the technicalities of tetraethyl lead explained to me.

If the research is correct I and many other motor engineers should be highly hyperactive, with bouts of aggression, as we all have worked in less than well-ventilated workshops with engines running for most of the day.

Tetraethyl lead however did not solve the problem of “knocking or pinking”. It can be present to this day.

Two events are acknowledged to be the cause of the aforementioned problem.

They are incandescent carbon or a maladjusted ignition system.

Incandescent carbon was a by product of petrols which produced large amounts of carbon.

Pool (war time) petrol was a huge contributor to this problem. Decarbonising an engine to cure the incandescent carbon problem is a thing of the past.

It was not until the introduction of computer systems into engines that the problem was fully solved.

But even now there is a knock sensor to fully control the problem. This sensor can send a signal to the ignition system and either advance or retard the ignition spark to cure the “knocking” problem.

Thank you Roger for a thought- provoking article.