I AGREE with Paul Ridyard that the ITV4 coverage of the Tour de Yorkshire was visually outstanding, but I disagree strongly about the commentary being “woeful” (The Yorkshire Post, May 11).
The team of Gary Imlach, Ned Boulton and David Millar did an excellent job of mixing riders’ history, race background and highlighting route detail. They did keep silent about the detailed shot of the US base at Menwith Hill, perhaps complying with political pressure.
The French camera teams did their usual excellent work with the background chat in French, which added to the programme interest. I was told that the programme has been shown in over 190 TV chanels worldwide.
I’m not a cyclist and have not owned a bike for many decades, but find all the ITV4 cycling broadcasts with the Imlach/Boulton/Millar team to be very enjoyable. My only grumble is with the advert breaks, which can blank out aerial shots of local towns. When’s the next one?
From: Coun Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, North Yorkshire County Council.
I REPLY to the letter (The Yorkshire Post, May 11) sent in by a Harrogate resident suggesting that North Yorkshire County Council has disregarded the safety of pedestrians by the removal of an island on Otley Road in Harrogate.
I have spoken by telephone to the writer to explain that this traffic island was removed immediately prior to the Tour de Yorkshire races on May 3. Other permanent islands elsewhere on existing race routes (TdF and TdY) have been replaced by bolt-down removable fixtures, Otley Road was being used for the first time this year (and will be in regular use as part of the Harrogate Circuit for the UCI World Championships in September). The traffic island is being replaced now with the removable type.
There are four sets of traffic-light-controlled pedestrian crossings within a few hundred metres of this location.
Taking steps to aid nature
From: Diane Chambers, Riddlesden, Keighley.
IN light of the horrifying United Nations report, stating that we are losing so many of our natural species, we all need to change our ‘Tidy Britain’ mindset now, both at home and in our neighbourhoods.
Some ideas might include:
Mowing lawns on a higher cut, less often, without weed and feed, so that clover and self-heal could flower;
Asking, even allowing, the council to cut the roadside verges less often, so that flowers can encourage pollinators and insects to grow again;
Making 13cm x 13cm holes through our boundaries so that hedgehogs (declined 50 per cent since 2000) may move freely among out gardens, churchyards and parks again;
Leaving the garden tidy up until early spring, so that seed heads might feed birds and foliage provide cover for creatures through winter.
If we don’t sit more lightly on the earth, the price we will pay will be a heavy one.
Rail and real competition
From: Robert Nisbet, Director, Nations and Regions, Rail Delivery Group.
YOUR reader ME Wright (The Yorkshire Post, May 11) has misread our proposals for reform of the railway and its fares system.
We suggest ‘the public sector stepping back’ only where market forces are sufficiently strong to make competition a reality, like on inter-city trains.
We advocate tighter public control where this is sensible, for example on mass-commuter routes, with a midway approach on other lines – the public sector setting out what it wants train operators to achieve, but not precisely how to achieve it.
We also submitted proposals to the Government to reform the regulations that underpin our confusing fares system and stand ready to work with them to achieve this. While regulatory reform of the fares system should mean more value for money options, the level of fares today is largely a result of the policy of successive governments to shift the balance of funding for rail away from taxpayers towards farepayers.
Checking up on the pier
From: Tim Mickleburgh, Hon Vice President, National Piers Society, Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.
I FIRST went to Saltburn Pier in the 1960s, when my maternal grandmother lived at Stockton-on-Tees. I recall going in the café, and seeing anglers fish along its neck. Then after the pier had survived the bulldozers, I made a return trip in 1979.
This was not long after the founding of the National Piers Society, who I represented as Chairman when the pier was re-opened by then Culture Secretary Chris Smith in 2001. A further visit took place two years later, when we held our Annual General Meeting in the resort.
Experts know nothing at all
From: GJ Charlton, Hedon.
I AM writing to you to talk about these so-called experts on flooding (The Yorkshire Post, May 14). They seem to think the water runs uphill. They were born with more sense than when they left university.
Listening to the ‘Professor of Flooding’, I wonder how they ever got their knowledge as they have never dug up a drain or laid a drainpipe. Who gives them the power to say give up land to the sea? The men who dug the drains and dykes must be turning in their graves at such stupidity. How are we going to feed our growing population after we have given up our best land?