From: Dan Atkinson, Knaresborough.
A COUPLE of (hopefully positive) comments on the congestion in Harrogate (The Yorkshire Post, July 8).
I live on the eastern edge of Knaresborough. I have occasion to travel to the western side of Harrogate.
Taking the most direct route, there are 19 sets of traffic lights between my house and New Park roundabout. The journey can take up to 40 minutes, 12 minutes of which can be getting through Knaresborough and up to 12 minutes getting through Starbeck if the level crossing is closed. Most of the rest of the time is spent waiting at red lights with no traffic movement whatsoever.
Bearing in mind the total resolution of the pollution and congestion problem at Bond End, by inserting two mini roundabouts, would it not be a useful exercise to turn off the traffic lights between Sainsbury’s and the New Park roundabout and post temporary signs and roundabouts, asking drivers to give way to traffic from the right, at each intersection?
The pedestrian crossings could revert to zebra-style crossings (with camera monitoring) where pedestrians have priority, regardless of number or agility, but the traffic needs to stop only when there is an actual pedestrian wishing to cross.
If this use of roundabouts, rather than traffic lights, is successful, further ideas to limit congestion could be used to cater for the Leeds Road and Ripon Road traffic movements through the town.
One final comment. I realise that it would be expensive (but not as much as a relief road) but an underpass at Starbeck level crossing would improve traffic flow, congestion and pollution in one fell swoop.
As an aside, I was brought up on the top of Harlow Hill (Plantation Road) and had to cycle to and from both Western Primary and Harrogate Grammar School. I can safely state that creating a cycle track up Otley Road is the most ridiculous waste of money that has ever been applied.
Expecting anybody to cycle up Otley Road, to go to work in Cardale Park, in winter, is madness (unless you are practising for the Tour de France). Subsidised electric buses and mini-roundabouts, up and down Otley Road, would be much more useful.
Productivity such a puzzle
From: Ron Savege, Harrogate.
THERE is a longstanding and frequent emphasis on the UK’s poor productivity. My career delivering major construction and infrastructure projects internationally, and in the UK, consistently involved working to competitive delivery programme and budget objectives with hugely well-motivated and committed multi-disciplinary teams.
In international terms, the Brits are invariably better problem solvers, more flexible thinkers than most. With experience of working closely with many, particularly from France and from North America, I find it very difficult in this, perhaps narrow, context to believe in our poor productivity when compared with others.
This difficulty is exacerbated by the confusing record of reporting relating to productivity. I believe that it is characterised by errors, contradictions and volatility.
It is not helpful for commentators to continue to bewail in the most general, woolly terms the UK’s poor productivity. There are regions, sectors, individual businesses and many, many factors. There will be positive role models and examples. These may help provide the basis of supporting arguments for leaders in the North to gain more resources. I hope that some clarification and movement in this direction can be generated.
I have always been amazed in the past at Government’s apparent inability to do joined- up economic thinking, as for example it applies an increase in fuel duty and then shows disappointment when the rate of inflation increases.
Obscene wages for BBC stars
From: Christopher Clapham, Shipley.
HOW I agree with David Smith of Hull (The Yorkshire Post, July 5) regarding the BBC. The amount of money the BBC spends, especially on wages, is obscene with waste out of control.
A few years ago a great fuss was made about moving out of Television Centre, having been there since the early 1960s However, no fuss was made about the new BBC headquarters. I expect because they were embarrassed about the money they had spent on it.
They always complain about top earners in the private sector, those who create the wealth we rely on for funding the NHS, schools and public services.
It is long since time the BBC was self-funding, accountable to proper shareholders and, like most other businesses, produced a comprehensive set of accounts on an annual basis.
From: John Michael Frith, Cottingham.
BORIS Johnson says “kick the rail bosses out if they fail to deliver” (The Yorkshire Post, July 5). Can we have the same sanction applied to politicians?
From: Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.
PLEASE can Boris Johnson disclose if his new rail edict applies to political failures like Chris Grayling, the current Transport Secretary.
From: Jarvis Browning, Fadmoor, York.
THE best solution that Norton and Malton could do for better access is to place a roundabout at the York end off the Malton bypass, so that the HGVs can choose how to get to and from the three industrial estates in the area.