I WAS somewhat bemused by Jayne Dowle’s column (Yorkshire Post, February 25). I’ve managed to arrive at work for just shy of 40 years without the need of a car. I started cycle commuting in 1974 – long before Bradley Wiggins was even a smile on his respective parents’ lips. Nor was this in flat, cycle friendly Hull or York. It was in hilly West Yorkshire where my journeys took me to various places in the Leeds/Bradford conurbation. I spent 18 months commuting to Keighley – a round trip of 30 miles.
Now, as a self-employed freelancer, I regularly use one of my seven trusty steeds to attend business meetings. As for all the files and other paraphernalia I need to take with me, I have two simple but amazingly effective panniers. My wife does the same when she uses her bike for local shopping trips. Of course the neatly parked cars outside the office to which Jayne refers do have their uses – their wing mirrors and shiny windows do come in handy to “check my look” before meeting my client.
A slipped disc incurred in January has temporarily curtailed my cycling activities. I tried the car for three days to travel to the office where I am currently working. But all that queuing traffic – what a waste of time.
So I opted for public transport. A five-minute walk to the bus stop; a short wait and then time to peruse the paper (which incidentally is when I read Jayne’s article) before the bus delivers me in Bradford. Then a brisk 15 minute walk to the office. A perfect combination of exercise and contemplation with a small carbon footprint. What’s more, in the 30 or so journeys I’ve made, the bus has only let me down once.
You’ve got to agree the nation could do with getting a bit fitter. It will reduce NHS costs for a start. And, less congestion is great news for our more important road-users, trucks. Fewer cars will mean they can make their all important deliveries more efficiently, thus cutting costs which might be passed on to consumers.
Taking some exercise on the way to work makes you more alert, energised and gives a sense of well-being. So Jayne, I’ve only got one message for you and your last column – on yer bike!
Be ashamed and resign
From: Martin Fletcher, Savile Close, Emley.
THERE appears to be a high propensity of public figures, who appear to think they can just charge what they like to a company credit card and get away with it. And fob it off on the taxpayer.
If the police chief Stuart Hyde wished to go to visit his college, fine. It is a private thing, however, and is nothing to do with the taxpayer. I would also point out that on a salary of £148,000 per annum it is also a cheek (Yorkshire Post, March 2).
Some of the expenses mentioned bear excessive scrutiny as to what they are.
I would also point out being cynical that “unspecified consultant“ covers a large multitude of sins and also needs a proper explanation.
He should have resigned in shame but just like NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson, and a few MPs, they seem to lose shame and honesty when they take the job.
Driving to the closest space
From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle.
A COUPLE of weeks back along with my wife I visited Boundary Mill at Colne.
It was a Sunday which meant that the shop did not open until 11am, though free tea/coffee and scones were available from 10am.
Being from good Yorkshire stock, we took advantage of this offer after which I left my wife for the obligatory two hours in the store while I went for a walk.
Outside I paused to watch in some amazement the stream of vehicles which made their way to the shop door in search of a parking place literally on the doorstep. There was plenty of room in the huge car park 50 yards back though clearly this was too far to walk.
Most, though not all drivers, had a black appendage seemingly glued to their right ear. I did look carefully to find anyone with one such attachment to each ear though without luck. Give them time, it will come.
This set me thinking as to the form of sub humans in generations to come. Surely there will be a sub-species with small wheels at the end of short stubby legs and one ear will have been replaced by an ingrown earphone?
Will this, I wonder, be confined to the west of the Pennines or the sub species spread to West and South Yorkshire. I cannot see it catching on in North Yorkshire.
Poliakoff off, please
From: James Robson, West End, Kirkbymoorside.
NOW that another Stephen Poliakoff gravy train has disappeared into the mist at the end of another station platform I think that we who paid for it might be forgiven for asking why the BBC has seen fit to indulge this writer for so many years.
The pedestrian, turgid, triumph of style over content of Poliakoff’s offering has come and thankfully gone at last. We have been on another lengthy, predictable journey, slapping a few dated, easy targets on the way; racism, the British upper classes, posh birds and ruined murderous mothers’ boys.
The upshot of this latest piece was easy to see as coming as the obligatory “blond in the trenchcoat” who comes along at the end of the David Hare theatre plays to tie up the loose ends.
Yet, comparisons are odious for when I recall the terse dialogue, the pungent exchanges, the humanity and verity of Last Tango in Halifax there is no comparison.