YP Letters: Fact check over failure of city airport

Are public transport links to Doncaster Sheffield Airport good enough?
Are public transport links to Doncaster Sheffield Airport good enough?
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From: Howard Knight, Sheffield.

IN his article on the Sheffield City Region mayor (The Yorkshire Post, February 16), Conservative representative Spencer Pitfield claims “any city which builds a perfectly good airport and then voluntary chooses to place warehouses on a £3m runway very much needs to take a reality check”.

Actually he is the one in need of both a reality and a fact check. Sheffield City Airport was developed and funded, not by ‘the city’ nor ‘the city council’ but by the then Conservative Government’s appointed and funded private-sector-led Sheffield Development Corporation (SDC).

SDC had not been the chosen economic regeneration route of either Sheffield City Council or Chamber of Commerce, but the Government was so determined. I do not blame the SDC.

Sheffield Airport was supported by the SDC as very much a poor second-best choice with such limitations that would never enable it to play a significant international role.

When Finningley, with all its advantages, was released from its defence capabilities, it was inevitable that Sheffield City Airport had reached the end of its life. The disappointment, for frequent business flyers like myself, is that so little progress has been made in improving the public transport connections to Doncaster which would support the development of its route network.

However, a lot of nonsense is talked about Doncaster Airport being ‘too distant’ from Sheffield. In the last few weeks, I have used Manchester, Luton, Heathrow and Gatwick in the UK – as well as Doncaster – because they provided the flights which met my business needs.

It takes me less time to get from Sheffield to Doncaster Airport than it does from the airports to the centres of most cities in the world, including Istanbul where I am right now.

Fracking and democracy

From: J Patrick, Wakefield Road, Pontefract.

ONLY when England has equal democratic rights with the rest of Britain will we be able to solve the problem of fracking in England.

The British Government is not pursuing a policy of fracking in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, but only England.

Ultimately, it is English taxpayers who fund the British Isles, but who are the last in the queue when it comes to receiving services and democracy.

From: Dr Peter Williams, Newbiggin, Malton.

The latest IPPR/Opinium poll shows more than 60 per cent of the public support tighter regulation on vehicle fuel emissions and more than 70 per cent want more renewable energy.

In Ryedale, there are even greater levels of support to stop fracking and avoid its tens of thousands of HGV journeys along its country roads. And as the generating costs of offshore wind farms plummet, we neither want nor need the burning of even more fossil fuels.

Permission to begin fracking at Kirby Misperton near Malton is awaiting inspection of the fracking company Third Energy’s overdue accounts which reveal debts of over £500m.

Meanwhile, their contractors have started removing equipment from the site. Third Energy’s parent company is a secretive tax-avoider based in the Cayman Islands and directed by a Conservative party peer and donor with a non-executive role in the UK Treasury.

We must continue to be vigilant – the threat of fracking isn’t over yet.

From: David Cragg-James, Stonegrave, York.

Are the anti-frackers blocking progress?

With respect to Mr Rhodes (The Yorkshire Post, February 13) I beg to differ.

Although “any advancement... beneficial or imperative to the wellbeing of the broader area, and the country as a whole” should indeed not be blocked by particular interest groups, when such ”advancement” amounts to ecocide, then Mr Rhodes’s understanding of wellbeing and advancement should perhaps be broadened.

The presumed advantages to the broader area and the country as a whole can not trump the interests of those who inhabit this planet with us. Quite separately, it is simply not possible to return the area after fracking to its original state.

Eye-opening knee injury

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

HAVING recently broken my kneecap and needing to use a stick to get around, may I recommend the Leeds Council Planning Committee to take a walk around the city centre while relying on a stick.

Maybe they would then become aware of high kerbs, uneven pavements and lack of accessible crossing points which risk the incapacitated falling or being injured again.

Brexit only when it suits

From: Henry Cobden, Ilkey.

WHY are Ministers like Boris Johnson not making Brexit speeches to Parliament?

Wasn’t the EU referendum about sovereignty – or only when it suits them?