Region needs high speed railway link

From: Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey; Greg Mullholand, MP for Leeds North West; Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West; Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council; Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council.

As representatives of the people of Leeds, we fully support the proposed high-speed rail line (HS2) and the potential benefits that it will bring to our area. In the wake of the 2007 financial crisis, the regions have been hit with stubbornly high unemployment and sluggish economic growth – particularly in comparison with London and the South East.

Economic studies show that effective modes of transport, including high-speed rail, enable entrepreneurs to get their goods and services to market in a secure and timely manner and facilitate the movement of workers to the most suitable jobs. HSR will therefore help to address the imbalances in our national economy and encourage regional growth and job creation.

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A new high-speed rail line will also help to create much needed extra capacity on the existing rail network.

Alongside investment in local infrastructure projects, HS2 represents the best long-term solution to alleviating congestion on our creaking and over-crowded transport system.

We call on the Government to approve plans for HS2 and to push ahead with its construction as soon as possible.

Airbridge key for airport

From: Bob Watson, Baildon.

YOUR Editorial (Yorkshire Post, December 23) rightly points out some of the problems with Leeds Bradford International Airport despite the ongoing improvements.

In this regard, the airport management appear to think that the new airside covered walkway extending towards aircraft stands will be an acceptable solution for passengers in the inclement weather seen all too often at Britain’s highest commercial airport.

However, I would contend that it most certainly is not.

If the airport expects to be viewed more favourably, then it is vital that additional airbridges are provided together with an extended terminal building, so that passengers do not have to venture outside.

That no such development is planned surely tells us all we need to know about the actual ambition of the management?

The airport will continue to be viewed as second rate by many while this situation persists.

From: Mrs V Moody, Little Smeaton, Pontefract.

I HAVE written previous letters to the Yorkshire Post and nobody has given me a reply to my question – why aren’t more flights available from Robin Hood Airport?

It may be that I am not up to date with the current situation (I am 76 and slowing down) but having endured pretty awful experiences at Leeds Bradford and dreadful journeys across the M62 to Manchester, I would welcome the chance to be able to fly from my local airport, which seems to have all the boxes ticked as regards infrastructure and potential to deal with many more passengers than at present.

Many times, I have had to travel to Heathrow and Gatwick and so with all the pressure to expand at Stansted (also flown from) a contentious issue, why cannot people travel to Doncaster from the South?

Am I being naive? I would welcome any clarification on this issue.

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

WE just flew from Southampton to Leeds Bradford Airport via Milton Keynes and Manchester. We still had to have the life jacket demonstration and the hostess was not amused when I suggested that I would prefer a parachute.

This policy is ridiculous and it’s time it was made more sensible.

Pollution link to tour buses

From: Brian Waddington, Dukes Wharf, Terry Avenue, York.

ONCE again, there has bee an article in the Yorkshire Post bemoaning the excessive pollution in York from traffic fumes.

There is little doubt that one of the chief causes of congestion is the ever increasing proliferation of open-top tour buses.

Although these may be advertised as low pollution vehicles, the lengthy traffic queues caused by their progression at about 10 miles per hour undoubtedly leads to a build up of harmful fumes in the atmosphere as well as delaying those going about their essential business.

I am of course aware of the benefits to the city provided by tourism but frankly the only way to really see the interesting parts is on foot as the buses cannot penetrate into the main historic areas.

There are excellent walking tours provided daily by the York Association of Voluntary Guides as well as by various commercial organisations.

For those who are less mobile, what is really needed is a free or cheap electric shuttle bus linking the main tourist areas, eg the Minster, the Shambles and the Castle Area with the railway station and the principal car parks.

This would definitely reduce traffic pollution as would the further suggestion of a large delivery vehicle depot on the outskirts of the city leaving the centre to be serviced by a fleet of smaller electric vehicles.