YP Letters: Leeds and Manchester, a tale of two cities far apart on transport

West Yorkshire Combined Authority has called for a change to the way rail improvements are planned.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority has called for a change to the way rail improvements are planned.
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From: David Pack, Earnsdale Road, Darwen.

THE other Wednesday, my wife and I visited Manchester. At Victoria Station, we experienced seamless travel from our train to a modern tramway system, both under one roof.

We appreciated the pedestrianised St Peter’s Square served only by quiet, sleek, efficient and pollution-free electric trams. What a pleasure.

The next day, we visited Leeds. City Station which is served predominately by aged, noisy and polluting diesel trains. Outside, City Square is a confusion of polluting and noisy buses and cars. What a contrast between the two city squares.

In 1994, Leeds botched up an imaginative and forward looking scheme called “Leeds Supertram – The Transport for the Future”, showing City Square looking almost like St Peter’s Square.

I still possess the publicity literature. This was followed in 2015 by another attempt to modernise the transport system, this time by using trolleybuses.

A sad tale of two cities indeed, one planning for the 21st century, and one still in the 20th century.

From: Michael Ridgway, Ghyll Wood, Ilkley.

YOU report grand plans for Leeds Bradford Airport (The Yorkshire Post, January 23). What most customers need from the airport is a review of operational practices to get the basics right.

Firstly, by scrapping the pure money-making exercise of charging £3 for dropping off and collecting passengers – which barely takes five minutes.

This brings the airport into total disrepute, both by single journey holiday-makers and those who use it on a regular basis.

Secondly, the management of ground handling needs to be improved – as experienced by myself and a full plane load of passengers from Spain last Monday evening at past 10pm who had to wait nearly 15 minutes for steps to be located and wheeled up to the aircraft so we could get off.

Passengers are then faced with a ‘route march‘ along a prefab type corridor, up several flights of steps, along another corridor, then down more steps before collecting their luggage. Hardly a customer-friendly reception at any time of the day or late evening, and especially for those of aged years.

Get the basics right first... then develop the grand plans.

Parking problems

From: David Parnaby, Markington.

RE the retail inquiry (The Yorkshire Post, January 23) and an issue which started with the then leader of Harrogate District Council proposing that stall holders at Ripon and Knaresborough markets should provide their own stalls and 
erect them themselves.

I served on Ripon City Council for 16 years and on Harrogate District Council for 10 years. After many meetings, we managed to convince Harrogate that a real problem existed, and in 2002 they engaged JMP Consultants to carry out a survey and to produce a report on the situation at that time and forecast the probable situation in 2006 and 2016.

I have my copy of that report in front of me now. I will just include part of the final paragraph: “These results would indicate that to meet demand at peak times on market days it would be necessary to provide a further 300 spaces in combination with the management of demand to ensure the most efficient use of capacity.”

If anything, the situation is worse than that forecast 15 years ago. Many people drive through Ripon to go to Thirsk, Northallerton or Boroughbridge to shop simply because there is nowhere to park in Ripon.

The problem has existed and been known about for the last 20 years. We do not need more meetings, Ripon needs action.

Immigrants and housing

From: Peter Broadley, Greetland, Halifax.

THE Government is promising to cover more of our countryside with extra housing.

When will politicians of all parties realise that the need for any extra housing has been as a result of the immigration policies over the last 40 years or more?

Solve the immigration problem – this will solve the housing shortage.

We also might get the so-called unemployed having to fill the job vacancies which exist.

Joys of pen and paper

From: Mrs L Holroyd, Long Causeway, Stanley, Wakefield.

“WRITE a little happiness every day”, says Francis Hodgson Burnett. I do. I read in Tom Richmond’s recent column about the demise of writing paper in supermarkets. It’s true. I’m always on the “look out” for lovely stationery – notelets included especially if they are reduced in price. It makes me happy.

Blame lies with an oafish few

From: Cecil Crinnion, Sycamore Close, Slingsby, York.

IN the wake of the accusations levelled at members of the Presidents Club, the criticism and insinuation that public figures attending this charity function were tolerant and complicit in the unacceptable behaviour of a few members is ridiculous.

How many hostesses complained publicly out of 150 apart from the paid journalist?

One is to many, but unfortunately some men that have had to much to drink do behave in an oafish manner.

A very loud “keep your hands to yourself” used to be the accepted antidote to such behaviour, not the refusal of donations.

In conclusion, oafish behaviour in drink is not confined to men only, as demonstrated by some of the hen parties in any city.