Letters July 29: Sky’s the limit if we think radically over airports and rail

From: Roger Whitaker, Dale View, Hardwick Road, Pontefract.

I BELIEVE that we need a county-wide mayor. Someone who has no political affiliation and can make decisions based on need and not on political beliefs or rural/urban bias. There could be a representative from each of the districts acting as an advisory body to the mayor.

One of the needs of the Yorkshire region is, as stated in your Editorial (The Yorkshire Post, July 25), an airport to rival Manchester. As other correspondents argued, one contender could be Robin Hood Airport at Finningley.

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However, what might be a better solution, would be to close Leeds Bradford, Humberside and Robin Hood airports and for the owners to get together with the owner of the ex-RAF station at Church Fenton and develop that as the Yorkshire airport.

Church Fenton has two runways although both are very short, little over half the length of the single runway at Robin Hood which is long enough to land all but the largest aircraft. Both airports would need runway extensions or additional runways. Manchester has two runways that are 10,000 ft long.

Church Fenton railway station, which already exists, would need development, but already provides direct rail access to many of our towns and cities with existing services which stop or pass through it. This solution would not be liked by the people of Church Fenton, but the people in the Yeadon/Horsforth area might well be delighted. As for me, I am not affected either way.

From: Paul Brown, Bents Green Road, Sheffield.

THE best improvement that could be made to the local rail network would be to reopen the Woodhead line across the Pennines from Manchester to Penistone and to build a new connecting link to allow trains to run directly into the south Leeds area. A new station near to the junctions of the M62 and M1 motorways and a connection to the existing electrified line between Wakefield and Doncaster, with a station adjacent to the A1, would provide a very useful link across the Pennines.

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If existing designs of 110mph locomotives and carriages were used there could be a journey time from Leeds to Manchester of 30 minutes and the scheme could be providing economic benefits to the region within five years. It just takes some good, honest Yorkshire common sense and determination to get on with the job and not turn it into the 20-year pantomime of government committees which usually accompanies such ideas.