From: Dr Peter Williams, Newbiggin, Malton.
A REPORT of the Government’s Air Quality Expert Group was given to Ministers in 2015, but not published for three years until it quietly appeared on the library page of Parliament’s air quality website.
This was no oversight, as the report was released four days after Ministers approved fracking in Lancashire. The report estimated that even a small number of fracking wells would increase national emissions of pollution, with nitrogen dioxides rising up to four per cent and volatile organic compounds up to three per cent.
However, it says “impacts on local and regional air quality have the potential to be substantially higher than the national level impacts, as extraction activities are likely to be highly clustered”.
In addition to the methane released by the fracking process is the air (and noise) pollution caused by diesel generators and the thousands of truck journeys needed to transport toxic fracking fluid. Much hot air comes from the Gvernment about phasing out diesel cars in cities, but they seem to regard polluting our countryside as acceptable.
The Thirsk and Malton MP, Kevin Hollinrake, has always maintained that environmental quality would be safeguarded, but the scientific evidence of this expert group shows that view to be complacent.
With Mr Hollinrake’s assistance, Ryedale may become the second Northern community to be deliberately polluted by fracking.
In the right direction
From: ME Wright, Harrogate.
AS always, the low-waged suffer most from the parlous state of public transport, but the wider ramifications affect us all (The Yorkshire Post, August 7).
Recently, I’ve noticed buses in a distantly familiar two-tone green livery, with ‘Leeds City’ emblazoned on the side panels. Add ‘Transport’ to that; top it with Pro Rege et Lege and could we perhaps be moving in the right direction?
Franchises entirely within the purview of the council would ensure reliable and affordable services. Believe it or not, they once did!
Syria cries out for action
From: Philip L Taylor, Milner Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield.
NORMALLY the democratically elected leaders of the free world would not intervene in the internal affairs of another country.
If these leaders had any sense of responsibility, humanity and compassion, they would make exceptions as regards Syria.
The United Nations should become intensely involved.
Trend will be short-lived
From: David Collins, Scissett.
I NOTE recent comments on a reduced increase in life expectancy and its relationship to current austerity measures (The Yorkshire Post, August 8).
Setting aside the stupidity of these measures, I still think the link to mortality is tenuous. Life expectancy is not about the here and now, but about a whole life.
I fully expect that life expectancy will take a downward turn in a few years time when the post-war generation make way for the next generations, starting with those born from the mid-50s to say the late 60s who unfortunately did not have a healthy childhood in terms of a balanced diet and regular exercise. I predict that in 10 years time, unless we have remarkable new medical advances, life expectancy will drop. I probably won’t be around so I will say now – I told you so!
No-man’s land for policing
From: John Van der Gucht, Cross Hills, North Yorkshire.
PART of the problem of rural crime in the Sutton area is that it is right on the borders of North and West Yorkshire, a long way from North Yorkshire’s HQ, and locally West Yorkshire police have their hands full (The Yorkshire Post, August 6). As a police officer once put it to me: “A sort of no-man’s land!”
Funding is an issue, but as the article states, criminals are increasingly clued up.
Memories of the drought
From: RW Place, Cornfield Avenue, Huddersfield.
IN response to Mick Walton (The Yorkshire Post, August 7), I remember that during a previous spell of drought, a man wearing a trilby hat and a bow tie appeared each night on the TV news, to give us an idea of how much water we had in reserve.
I think the TV station bought him a bow tie at the end of his quite lengthy sojourn. Am I correct?
Broad, not narrowboat
From: David Walls, Menston.
THE “narrowboat” pictured at Gargrave (Picture Past, The Yorkshire Post, August 7) is in fact a typical broad boat which my father and grandfather operated until the late 40s. Narrowboats can fit in side by side within a lock, whereas the broad boat was built to occupy the whole lock, allowing for the sill at the upper end. The Kennet, a preserved Leeds and Liverpool vessel, can usually be seen at Skipton.
Strip firm of franchise
From: Martin Higgins, Marsden.
I FOLLOW Tom Richmond’s columns every week and take a particular interest in the rail chaos across the North. I totally agree that the Northern franchise should be withdrawn.