YP Letters: Our public transport is an expensive joke

Does the region's rail network need an overhaul?
Does the region's rail network need an overhaul?
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From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

Seb Gordon of the Rail Delivery Group informs us that “overall, train companies pay more money back to the Government than they receive” (The Yorkshire Post, January 16).

This is hardly reassuring, when that money is ours to start with – rip-off fares and tax-paying passengers.

We’re told that an independent EU Survey found Britain’s railways to be “the most highly rated major network”.

Were the passengers whose views they sought also shareholders, perhaps? I ask, as we are now charged just short of £10 to rattle 13 miles from Harrogate to Leeds on a Pacer –and we are not alone.

Yes, promises are on the horizon – again. But all the Government-sponsored talking shops and their 30-year time spans fail to convince us that 
the UK’s laughably termed “public transport” is anything other than an outrageously expensive, poorly co-ordinated shambles. It does little to ease the ever-increasing chaos on the roads.

Diesel wrongly demonised

From: Richard Gledhill, Sedbergh, Cumbria.

Since the VW scandal broke over two years ago, diesel-powered cars have been vilified and condemned, not least by the Government who should provide some leadership and direction in the matter.

Instead, they further muddy and mislead by applying higher VED bands to all diesel-powered cars from April this year.

Approximately 11 per cent of nitrogen oxide (NO2) is produced by cars, substantially less than that produced by buses and trains in cities as well as HGVs and oil and gas-fired central heating and multi-fuel burners prevalent and growing in many homes.

Since diesel engines cars are a very easy target, Government as well as local authorities choose to condemn these vehicles and completely ignore the vast strides that have been taken in the continuing development of these vehicles.

Alarmingly and yet predictably, CO2 levels are now rising again and this is directly attributable to petrol-engine vehicles, causing concern that global warming is once again out of control.

In addition, fuel consumption, and by its nature oil production will rise as a condition of petrol-engine vehicles being less fuel-efficient than diesel.

What a hotch-potch of politicians who choose headlines rather than facts.

Before anyone thinks that all electric cars are the answer, one should look at the manufacturing emissions of these vehicles and in particular the mining and refining of the rare earth metals needed for their batteries and motors.

The vast majority of this mining causes massive 
pollution and damage to public health, partly because the countries involved don’t overly concern themselves with these issues.

As for the consumers who buy these vehicles, they fortunately don’t see the pollution and damage that has been caused, nor have it explained to them that the emissions produced during production are considerably greater than those for a conventionally powered car.

Effectively, what they don’t see they don’t have to worry about.

In the meantime, the diesel car will continue to be the victim and the easy target for Goverment and consumer groups. Well, my next car will be diesel.

Problems relate to A&E

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

How I agree with Hugh Rogers (The Yorkshire Post, January 15) that money will not solve the ills of the NHS.

Having had a recent experience of excellent care at the LGI fracture clinic, the problems seem to be almost entirely related to A&E and the lack of social care for patients not quite well enough to go home but not needing extensive nursing care.

Surely there should be cross-party agreement to solve these ills and especially, as Andrew Vine has suggested, joined up care of the NHS and Social Care.

Clegg criticism unjustified

From: Stuart Ebden, Buckden, Skipton.

You can’t please all the people all the time, particularly where the New Year Honours are concerned.

It all comes down to ‘box-ticking’ and boxes for athletes are different from boxes for politicians.

Shaun Kavannagh’s apparent ignorance (in my opinion) of politics is displayed in his condemnation of Nick Clegg’s knighthood (The Yorkshire Post, January 6).

Nick Clegg has served the nation well, worked tirelessly over many years as an MEP, Westminster MP, including service as Deputy Prime 
Minister to David Cameron in 
the coalition government, and there is cross-party respect for him.

Mr Kavannagh’s claim that Nick Clegg has achieved “absolutely nothing” is quite remarkable in its inaccuracy, 
not to say its deep 
offensiveness.

He would be better confining his remarks to something he seems to know about – triathletes.