YP Letters: Ban cars from school gates to cut air pollution

Should cars be banned from school drop-offs?
Should cars be banned from school drop-offs?
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From: David Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe.

Some 60 years ago when there were several old cars on the road, many having dynamos to charge equally old batteries that didn’t hold their charge very well, drivers were reluctant to switch off their engines for fear of not being able to start them again. Over time the dynamo was replaced by the more efficient alternator, and battery design was slowly improved, but still of the lead/acid type.

Now we see fewer old cars on the road, and therefore fewer cars with starting problems, but there are older drivers who are reluctant to start their engines too often. In fact when I picked up my new car last year I was informed by the salesman that the engine would automatically cut out if I had to stop for some reason (for example, at a red traffic light). My reply was, ‘But won’t it run down the battery?’ I was assured that it wouldn’t.

There are surely two main reasons why many drivers leave their engines running whilst waiting for somebody. In winter the car heater only works when the engine is running, as does the air conditioning in summer.

A far better way of improving air quality round our schools is to use the law to create a car exclusion zone, to encourage parents to either walk their children to school from a dropping-off point some distance away, or to allow their children to make their own way there, as we did throughout our primary years. Earlier this year, my car journey took me past my local primary school and I asked my wife to count the number of cars along the side of the road. The number was a staggering 50.

When one bears in mind that the school is situated within one of the many deprived areas of the north of England, this is quite mad.

Why do we tolerate this?

From: Bob Watson, Baildon.

Muhammad Tafham murdered his mother-in-law after she helped her daughter escape their unhappy arranged marriage (The Yorkshire Post, August 23).

This arranged marriage had taken place in 2013 in Pakistan, with the daughter expected to marry Tafham, her cousin. He then joined her in the UK in 2016 but it didn’t work out. He refused her a divorce as he would then have been deported as his visa arrangements would have been breached.

This case surely begs some very pertinent questions.

The first is why Tafham, 31, was only jailed for 21 years. He could therefore be released when only in his early 50s with plenty of life still before him. Totally inadequate.

One has to hope that he will immediately be deported upon his release.

The second is why, in the 21st century, we still tolerate arranged marriage at all? These are, far too often, akin to forced marriage, and it is time that this Third World practice was banned for good.

That such arranged marriages allow spouses to be brought to this country, often with little to offer, is also something that needs to be addressed.

These arrangements may be considered acceptable in Pakistan (and elsewhere), but they really should have no place in modern society.

Time to end foreign aid

From: Bill Marsh, Beadle Garth, Copmanthorpe, York.

CAN anyone explain why, when the NHS is struggling, when police numbers are severely shrunk by funding cuts, when schools are in disrepair, when we can’t look after our elderly properly, when our defence capability is impaired, we give away £1bn every month to the rest of the world?

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

If ever we have had a pair of clowns in government it has to be David Cameron and Theresa May.

Mr Cameron with his dream of HS2, which has so far cost billions and is no nearer completion than a year ago; Mrs May with her cuts in policing and prison budgets resulting in a massive increase in violent crime placing our lives further into danger. Ring-fencing foreign aid has taken desperately-needed funds from our over-burdened NHS. The real problem is Jeremy Corbyn would be even worse.

Delighted by Tattoo show

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.

On Bank Holiday Monday I watched the BBC Scotland highlights of the 2018 Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo. It was superb in every way.

The commentator was first class, the colours, timing, discipline, skill, bravery, co-ordination, synchronization, enthusiasm of all those taking part was a joy to see. There were folk from Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, America, Switzerland, Oman, Mexico, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bohemia all very happy and enjoying themselves, with no hint of any trouble. Music, even more than sport, does unite people and at the wonderful concerts put on by the Dutch band leader Andre Rieu. This was a “good news” story from start to finish – how I wish we had more!

Dying for TV

From: Janet Berry, Barfield, Hambleton.

SUNDAY isn’t the same without Poldark on television. I am looking forward to series five, but oh, how many deaths have we endured? I make it nine deaths in four series, how much more can we take?

Boring Gary

From: Barry Foster, High Stakesby, Whitby.

SO Gary Lineker thinks the PM is boring. He should try watching his own TV programme. As my dear old grandmother used to say, there is nothing like the kettle calling the pot black.