YP Letters: Government must listen to rail passengers

When will the North get the rail service that it deserves?
When will the North get the rail service that it deserves?
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From: Paul Burns, Harrogate.

WHEN is this inept Government going to act for the benefit of the passengers in the ongoing railway disputes?

We know that the Government is paying (very likely hefty) compensation to the failing companies, but ignores the plight of the travellers.

Tom Richmond: Why it must be the end of the line for Chris Grayling’s excuses

Many of the privatised companies have accepted there is a safety risk to having driver only operated (DOO) trains, but perhaps our local (German-owned) operator Northern is making too much profit from strikes to care about our safety.

Nationwide, reports are increasing of drivers being instructed to set off whilst at a red light, and of trains arriving at platforms too short for the number of carriages.

News of increased violence and sexual assault features regularly in the media and in official statistics, and railway companies respond by bringing in scab labour to break the strike being waged for our safety, bringing greater risk.

RMT trade union leader Mick Cash raised the issue of profit over safety, with operators “happy to give criminals and thugs a free hand”.

The Government needs to listen to commuters and nationalise the railways.

Profits should go towards funding service improvements, not into the pockets of ‘fat cat’ bosses or subsidies for European commuters at our expense.

From: Nigel Davies, London.

THE Yorkshire Post is correct to reflect its dismay that transport spending in Yorkshire has once again fell behind London, despite decades of underinvestment in the North.

Despite this disparity, the Institute of Economic Affairs, based in London, has now labelled the proposed mass transit transport project for 
West Yorkshire as a “vanity project”.

This winner-takes-all approach, for pouring more resources into London and the South East, sadly still has commentators who claim that investment north of Watford is a “misallocation of resources” and they take little notice of the views of leaders in the North and the Midlands.

The scrutiny and commentary on HS2, HS3 and the other investment plans outside of London is consistently skewed to the negative by the London-centric critics, as highlighted by Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands.

In contrast over the last few weeks, the budget for the Lower Thames Tunnel soared by £600m to £6.8bn and the National Audit Office launched an inquiry into the financial over-run on London Crossrail 1, both issues barely raised a mention in the national press.

The huge gap between investment needs in the regions has to be addressed immediately, and it would be a step in the 
right direction if the double standards on media coverage actually addressed the serious situation of the gross inequality across the UK rather than contributing to a further deterioration.

Responsible parenting

From: Bob Watson, Baildon.

SNP MP Alison Thewliss (The Yorkshire Post, November 28) blasts the policy whereby there is a two-child limit for Universal Credit and child tax credits.

On the contrary, it is also time that the lifestyle choice on the number of children produced also extended to child benefit with a maximum of two there as well. The continued expansion of families should not fall on the shoulders of taxpayers.

From: Robert Holman, Marsden Court, Farsley.

WITH regard to the NHS, I think we should have a national 
charity appeal set up on TV to fund our poor elderly who are unable to care for themselves with no human dignity shown to them. It’s a disgrace on our once Great Britain when Churchill’s heroes fought for a better tomorrow.

From: Cecil Crinnion, Sycamore Close, Slingsby, York.

WHY are some British children deemed to be living in poverty? We all know the answer, but in this politically correct age, we are not able to lay the blame where it belongs – with the parents. Hardship no doubt, but not poverty.

Planning problems

From: John Laird, Harrogate.

HARROGATE Borough Council has been obliged by the Government to build more houses in their area, but the choice of sites rests with the council.

They have compiled many policy documents but, when it comes to making a decision, it is easier to acquiesce to the wishes of willing sellers than to apply potentially more expensive good planning proposals.

An example of this could be in Darley, a village nine miles from Harrogate. There is a preferred option site and a proposed application site which together represent a potential of 88 houses, all in a village with virtually no commercial opportunities.

This means that employment for people living there will entail travel to Harrogate if not beyond. This would be environmentally damaging and against Government policy as defined by Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary. Of course there is a bus service to Harrogate. It passes a quarter mile at least from the proposed developments and runs every one and a half hours. Hardly useful to people working in Harrogate.

MPs’ health revelations

From: Canon Michael Storey, Healey Wood Road, Brighouse.

I NOTE (The Yorkshire Post, November 30) that the Labour MP, Lloyd Russell-Lloyd, has revealed that he is HIV positive.

Does that mean that all MPs should inform the world of their ailments?