WHILE I know that cycling is good for you, on a personal health basis, it is certainly not for everyone in the Borough of Harrogate. What is important, however, is that we have a vibrant economy and good shops that will attract visitors to our important tourist towns.
Closing streets and deterring motorists, through attracting and promoting so many cycling championships to the Harrogate area, is not always compatible with helping retail shops remain profitable.
Once the UCI has come and gone in September, then a long rest from any more of these events is, I believe, called for and efforts by our various councils and their staff can then be concentrated on encouraging the High Street, together with enhancing the beauty of the local environment which is also so important in promoting tourism.
I am not a great believer in further knocking the motorist and making them unwelcome in the borough. This flies in the face of reality and panders to those “bureaucrats” who need “something to do” in filling their days through actually promoting schemes to keep cars and therefore their occupants away from shopping in our towns.
Further pedestrianisation of our shopping quarters together with the inexorable rise of parking charges will not help our hard-pressed retail sector, who need to be profitable to survive.
The current focus on forcing people onto buses, which on the face of it looks innovative and seemingly enhances the environmental reputations of those promoting this course of action, will also not help struggling retailers either. I am now intending to join and promote the aims of the retailing group calling themselves “Independent Harrogate”.
From: Thomas Reed, Harrogate.
LOOKING at all the road signs detailing closures for the cycling world championships, did Sir Gary Verity consider the impact that this event would have North Yorkshire – and people just trying to get on with their lives?
An explosive atmosphere
From: Dr Martin Hemingway, Foxhill Court, Leeds.
IT can be no surprise to the fracking companies that they are a major contributor to methane levels in the atmosphere (Global methane levels ‘lifted by rise of fracking’, The Yorkshire Post, August 15). Anybody who wanders down Piper Lane at West Newton and looks through the netting that forms the boundary between the lane and the fracking site at the various warning signs, will notice the one that refers to ‘explosive atmosphere’. If the Government is sincere about acting to limit climate change, a ban on fracking is a necessary part of that. Local councils and the overstretched police should not be working to facilitate the damage being done by the industry.
From: Andy Jones, Costa Way, Pickering.
HOW can Glyn Wild claim (The Yorkshire Post, August 14) that ‘cheaper and cleaner alternatives to energy’ are available, as if renewables are plentiful, reliable and would not industrialise the countryside. At least gas well pads can be screened, even if it takes a few years for trees to grow. How many wind and solar farms do you know are hidden in full sight? All of them!
In his letter, he ignores the reality of our current energy mix. 84 per cent of homes are heated with gas boilers, 61 per cent of us use it to cook and it provides 40 per cent of the UK’s annual electricity. That is not going to change overnight, especially as it costs over £20,000 to replace an existing household boiler with an electric heat pump. Remind us Mr Wild, who is paying for that? Who has £20,000 to spend, or wants to spend, on replacing a heating system that is working just fine? Yes, the rich can afford to pay but the majority cannot and what a waste to try and recycle millions of gas boilers and heating systems.
Dangers of this crossing
From: Dr Anna Murphy, Knaresborough.
I WOULD like to highlight the dangers of the new pedestrian crossings at Bond End, Knaresborough, following personal experience.
I was crossing the Ripley Road crossing heading towards the Dower House when a car drove right through the crossing about six inches directly in front of me.
This was in spite of my waiting at the crossing so traffic could see me, and me being mindful of the crossing, being a relatively new one immediately adjacent to the mini roundabouts. Had I been one step in front of my position I would have been very seriously injured at best.
Does it take a serious injury or a fatality before something is done to make this safer for all?
From: Brian H Sheridan, Lodge Moor, Sheffield.
IF the Commons Transport Select Committee were to consider a ban on drivers using hands-free mobile phones (The Yorkshire Post Aug 21), surely this would make other forms of in-car activity questionable, some of which have existed for many years.
I am thinking radios, cassettes, CD players and especially lighting cigarettes. I have also long thought that a dropped, lit cigarette could easily panic a driver.
Thunberg will fail to convince
From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.
WHAT a self-satisfied young woman Greta Thunberg is. She seems to think she alone can persuade all the world to recognise climate change. It will be interesting to see whether or not China and the US are impressed by her enthusiasm.