I READ with great interest Tom Richmond’s article about Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and the removal of Pacer trains (The Yorkshire Post, July 18).
While Grayling has certainly been the worst Secretary of State for some time, I don’t understand why you think there is a connection between him and the fact that Pacers will not be totally eliminated from Yorkshire’s railways by the turn of the year, as the disability laws require.
From privatisation through to 2016, successive governments and transport secretaries of both main parties refused to allow the Northern franchise to order new trains, or even additional old ones, which would allow the withdrawal of Pacers and the provision of much-needed extra capacity.
Only with the franchise which started in April 2016 were new trains permitted: Northern has ordered 101 such trains, and as I’m sure you know the first or in service to the west of the Pennines, and driver training recently started on the new diesel trains, the class 195, from a base in Huddersfield.
These trains have indeed suffered from technical problems which have delayed their introduction, and until they are in service self-evidently the Pacers can’t be removed.
That is surely one thing that cannot be blamed on Grayling, although much else can. This is hardly surprising given how tightly the Government controls the “privatised” railway.
We must all go green
From: John G Davies, Alma Terrace, East Morton, Keighley.
YOUR correspondent David Schofield, and columnist Bill Carmichael, exemplify the reasons for the actions of Extinction Rebellion demonstrators. These two appear to be wilfully ignorant of the realities of global heating.
A couple of points that these ‘ostriches’ may have missed; July is on course to be the hottest month ever globally. Nine out of the 10 hottest years have occurred since 2000. If they think that we can simply continue as before, they are manifestly wrong.
Whilst the Government has made some gestures with one hand, towards a more sustainable system, the other hand is removing support for feed-in tariffs for PV solar panels and for electric cars. Its support for fracking is another negative aspect of its environmental policy.
A whole-hearted approach to a green economy is essential. This will mean changes in lifestyle for all of us and the rich, whose excessive consumption is largely to blame, must bear the greater part of the cost.