YP Letters: Why I believe Yorkshire will unite behind devolution

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From: John P Hall, Harrogate.

I DISAGREE entirely with the comments of Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen in a recent interview with The Yorkshire Post. A Yorkshire-wide devolution deal is the only deal that can really work for all of Yorkshire.

It is one of the areas of the UK that has most to lose from Brexit. A bold plan is needed by the Government for enterprise in Yorkshire. City mayors can be quite effective in their immediate vicinity but smaller towns, market towns and large areas of the countryside are excluded under this system of governance.

Having lived in the Thirsk area for many years, I know the people of Hambleton and can assure you that, given the vote, the likelihood is that they would back a one Yorkshire deal.

Mr Houchen’s suggestion that there would be no “community bond” between different parts of our county is laughable – one of the very qualities we are known for throughout the country is being proudly and vocally “Yorkshire”.

Towns south of the Tees such as Yarm, Thornaby, Middlesbrough and Redcar, have all shown a willingness to return to Yorkshire and would eventually be included in the One Yorkshire deal. If Mr Houchen is genuine in suggesting that “the door is always open” for discussion, now would be a good time to start.

From: C.V. Barton, Hasley Road, Burley In Wharfedale.

MAY I make a few observations about congestion in Leeds?

How much of the problem is the result of not fully using all transport infrastructure?

Kirkstall Forge station was opened at great expense with an off peak service of one train per hour. This is a disgrace when all trains from Leeds to Bradford Forster Square and Leeds to Ilkley should stop.

This would go some way to reducing Kirkstall Road congestion and would help bus punctuality and air quality.

Traffic on Otley Road through Headingley is so bad that the air quality will be poor. However, parallel to this road is the under-used Leeds to Harrogate railway. Headingley station is another wasted transport asset, signage to it is poor, indeed most residents are unaware Headingley has a railway station. With longer and more frequent trains, more car drivers could be attracted to rail.

A new station is need at Horsforth Woodside on the Leeds Outer Ring Road (railhead for Adel, Lawnswood, Weetwood, Meanwood etc). Otley people do use Menston Station in significant numbers.