From: Dan Fell, Chief Executive, Doncaster Chamber.
BREXIT will create winners and losers throughout the UK’s business communities; therefore, as some firms gear up to maximise new opportunities, others will be working to mitigate risks and head off new challenges.
The key to facing challenges and opportunities alike is being prepared. In many ways, businesses can only be prepared when Government is prepared and, as such, there remains much for Government to do throughout the transition period to provide clarity and detail about the UK’s future relationship with the rest of the world for the private sector to work with and respond to.
The balance between threat and opportunity will be felt in communities just as it is within businesses. In the North, and places like Doncaster, we still have comparatively low resilience to economic shocks.
Ardent Remainers and Leavers alike will acknowledge that Brexit equates to significant change; that is why the Government must come good on its election pledges to invest in the North to make sure we can respond to Brexit in a positive and entrepreneurial manner.
Last week, the UK’s Aviation Minister, Paul Maynard, saw, first-hand, the catalytic impact that investing in a loop off the East Coast Main Line to Doncaster Sheffield Airport could have on the region’s economy.
This is exactly the kind of shovel-ready scheme that Government could – and should – be backing to create confidence and an environment for business success as we head into a new era.
From: Roger Backhouse, Upper Poppleton, York.
OH the irony! Less than two months after the general election campaign in which Conservatives warned that Labour’s plans to renationalise railways were barmy, Grant Shapps takes Northern rail back into public ownership (The Yorkshire Post, January 30).
He’s done the right thing, but Northern’s failures meant he could do little else to retain traveller confidence.
Not all problems stemmed from Northern alone; some originated with infrastructure projects that overran. What is needed is the will and organisation to have different parts of the rail industry working together as they should.
Nearly 200 years ago George Stephenson said that track and trains were “like man and wife”. His sound principle was wrecked by privatisation. Alas, the Department for Transport lacks the technical knowledge to develop railways. It interferes but does not improve.
What is needed is a technically informed co-ordinating body for the whole railway system. Perhaps called British Rail, it would ensure British operators instead of the array of continental railways attempting to run services today.
From: ME Wright, Harrogate.
BREXIT seems to be off to a promising start as we, the British public, are set to retrieve our sovereignty over the so-called ‘public service’ known as Northern rail.
Grant Shapps sounds like a man with a mission and it’s good to learn that in future, Northern will be run by “experienced railway managers” (The Yorkshire Post, January 30).
“About time” springs to mind; but where have these people been hiding for the last 25 years? Again we’re told that things can’t change overnight. We’ve heard that before, many times and again I stress; the night has been 25 years long. Let’s wish Grant Shapps well and remind him and Boris Johnson that they have just under five years to sort out this and other messes.
From: Paul Brown, Sheffield.
IT is not often that I feel inclined to speak up in defence of our politicians, but it is only fair to point out that nobody could have predicted the massive increase in demand for rail passenger services. In the 1970s it was possible to board a midday train from Sheffield Victoria to Manchester and find that there were so few passengers that I could have not just a compartment but an entire carriage to myself. A similar situation prevailed on a Sunday evening journey from Derby to Loughborough.
As a result of greater affluence in the population, many people now have the option of living where they wish and working at the place of their choice even if it is a substantial journey from one to the other.
Perhaps rather than trying to accommodate an ever increasing demand for travel, we would be more successful in defeating global warming if there was a way of encouraging us to move home and work closer together. This need not consist of anything more complicated than featuring the extra leisure time which people with short commuter journeys enjoy.