POLITICAL and transport leaders fail to make the point that the regional role of Leeds city centre would be both safeguarded and enhanced if it were the nucleus of both a muncipal and regional fully electrified rail network which would bring economic, social and cultural benefits.
Such a network would be unique in Britain in that battery-operated trams could share a central area tunnel with suburban electric trains with underground stations at key points (such as Leeds Eastgate). Major developments at both LGI and St James’s hospital could be linked directly by tunnel.
Government is disingenuous in legislating to ban production of diesel cars by 2030 while not committing to the electrification of, say, 95 per cent of railways. I struggle to see an electrified Hull to Scarborough line but certainly York to Scarborough requires at least two trains an hour under wires, as do all lines in West Yorkshire. Rail electrification should be a priority for the north as a recent study by the Rail Safety Board (RSSB) shows that even new diesel trains emit more noxious particles than do cars on traffic-clogged London roads.
Given that electrification of the Midland MainLine between Leeds, Sheffield and London, coupled with improvements to the ECML, meets the market for Yorkshire to London journeys, it is difficult to justify HS2 eastern leg given its enormous cash and opportunity cost.
Indeed some Tory MPs are waking up to the damage concentration on this project will do. No one can explain how HS2 will create thousands of jobs yet a regional metro network centred on Leeds and Bradford will enhance the regional role of these centres. This is transport for the many – not just the few.
From: William Loneskie, Oxton, Lauder, Scottish Borders.
SCOTTISH police will have to be on their guard against Extinction Rebellion disrupting COP26 in Glasgow in November. They will certainly have to take a more robust approach than their colleagues in England.
The real aim of Extinction Rebellion is is de-growth and a reductions in living standard through mass protests to cause massive economic disruption and undermine the forces of law and order.
The leader of XR has spoken about “activists dying for their cause”. Concern about the climate is only a means to an end. Their end is the destruction of modern capitalist society. Extinction Rebellion is all about system change not climate change. Closing down oil and gas production on which industry depends – and consumer society depends – is a means to their end.
Their main target is our young people who may be vulnerable to their ideology. Schools therefore should ensure that the real aims of Extinction Rebellion are writ large.
From: Rita Brook, Green Lane, Lofthouse, Wakefield.
IT is of growing concern that Planet Earth is destroying itself for pleasure. Think about this – entertainment venues, sports grounds etc, enhancing the experience with blasts from polluting flares, aided by pyrotechnic circuitry. Another example of worldwide waste.
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