Faster track to the heart of London

From: Mike Thompson, Ossett, West Yorkshire.

HAVING just read the interesting Opinion column article by Tony Lodge (Yorkshire Post, October 14) about rail competition in which he states that most of the Grand Central services from Wakefield Kirkgate reach London King’s Cross, in just two hours, faster than those operated by East Coast Trains from Wakefield Westgate, I would like to correct Tony on his facts in this article.

Grand Central offer three weekday services from Kirkgate to London, the fastest time being two hours 25 minutes. While East Coast offer over 30 weekday services from Westgate to the capital, the fastest time being two hours and the other services all being faster than Grand Central’s.

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The i newsletter cut through the noise

From: ME Wright, Grove Road, Harrogate.

THANKS to Andrew Vine for his amusing but all too familiar account of his journey in a ‘quiet coach’ (Yorkshire Post, October 15). I recall a similar trip to Leeds where, before the train had left Bristol, three smart suits were competitively bestowing their executive wisdom on us and each other. Sensing plenty of support, I boldly pointed out that this was the quiet coach and glaring, they disappeared down the train.

Would I have been so brave with “Gav” given his menacing T-shirt? I don’t think so; but having been alerted, did the guard ever return to see if all was well? Perhaps someone who remained on the train after Andrew’s departure could tell us – and I admit to a prurient interest in whatever it was that “Bonehead” had been up to!

More seriously, as we have the highest fares in Europe, are we not entitled to demand at least as much attention to our comfort as is lavished on any supposed infringements of complex and confusing ticketing rules?

From: Catherine Watson, Norman Road, Hatfield, Doncaster.

I FULLY agree with Andrew Vine’s article (Yorkshire Post, October 15) about the quiet coach on trains these days. They are a great addition to pleasant train travel.

I travel to London regularly to visit my daughter and her family and always choose to travel in the quiet coach, but if there’s even a hint of a mobile conversation being heard I am on my feet and addressing the perpetrator of the conversation! I try to address them in a calm and pleasant way even though I’m seething inside.

It plainly says in more than one place on the carriage that it is a quiet coach and mobiles are not allowed. There is also an announcement telling them the same thing. I suggest that they can have their conversation outside the carriage in the space between carriages. I have not yet received a black eye for my suggestion!

I feel that Andrew Vine and his fellow passengers were more than a bit cowardly to allow Gav to continue his conversations during the whole journey – hadn’t any of them the guts to have a ‘quiet’ word with him? Please, Andrew, next time that happens do have the courage to speak to the person for the sake of the other passengers – you’ll be doing them all a favour and will be the hero of the hour!

If only the BBC forgot ratings

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

IT is sad that public disaffection with the BBC is reaching unprecedented levels. This is fuelled to some degree by the right-wing Press (not the Yorkshire Post, I hasten to add, whose editorials have sometimes failed to please more conservative readers).

Much of the opprobrium is deserved: not least for the profligacy of the relocation to Salford, yet more dumbing-down with the promotion of another cookery programme to BBC1 and the golden pay-offs for senior staff (Yorkshire Post, October 16).

Worst of all was the abysmal journalistic judgment of Newsnight with the Jimmy Savile affair. The Corporation also struggles to dissociate itself from public sector advertising in left-wing newspapers from which it inevitably recruits individuals who loathe the popular Press. This, I fear, may be endemic and intractable.

Yet reports of BBC left-wing bias have been exaggerated. I have sometimes raised my eyebrows at leftish analysis on other channels. Partiality is often in the eye of the beholder. The Corporation was right not to take lightly the mendacity of a best-selling newspaper over Ed Miliband’s father. I wonder if the Beeb’s detractors are equally jarred by the right-wing US news agency Fox News, now available on our TV?

The BBC still represents the very best in broadcasting. Also, as I have said before on this page, in its obsession with ratings, it puts out the most egregious rubbish. If only they would forget ratings and remember Lord Reith they might even appease reluctant licence fee payers.

Meanwhile, to those who would want our great public service broadcaster to take its chance unaided in the commercial world, I would say: enjoy the adverts.

Show is not a money maker

From: Mrs Julie Ellis, North Lane, Cawthorne, Barnsley.

I AM writing in response to Christopher Foster’s letter regarding the entry cost of the Penistone Show.

Firstly, can I point out that the farming community in no way makes anything from the show, it is run by an independent committee who do a fantastic job each year in sorting out everything.

How much does Mr Foster think it costs to produce such an event?

You can’t compare it to a Round Table event at all – both are so different in running and organising both with different aims.

As for all the 4x4s, if they are farmers’ vehicles they are
working ones for pulling cattle trailers, taking spares fuel etc to the fields at harvest, carrying fodder and food up to out wintering stock. In general, they are work horses, and not just bought for show to keep up with the neighbours.

I have come to the conclusion Mr Foster cannot go very far with his family as these days. I consider £30 for a day out to be good value.

Just think what it costs to go to Flamingo Land or any child-orientated place.

These places do not run themselves, they all have 
upkeep something we as visitors have to pay for, so please 
get your facts correct Mr Foster and do not assume that the agricultural show is just 
a money maker for the farmers 
of the area.

Believe me, they are far too busy trying to feed the nation and don’t have time to put on such a fantastic event as Penistone Show.