YP Letters: Politicians try to sell dogma on rail issue

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling remains under fire.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling remains under fire.
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From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

THE joint enterprise of The Yorkshire Post and Northern media colleagues has been a positive and encouraging factor in the ducking and diving by Westminster, brought on by the recent spectacular railway ineptitude.

“But they’re trying to sell papers,” we are told. True and the politicians are trying to sell dogma.

The papers sell because we trust them but not, with too few exceptions, the politicians. For most of us, the public services dogma of the last 30-odd years has lost whatever credibility it once had.

The Press coming-together has kept the ball rolling; but isn’t it time for the North’s MPs of every hue to do the same and remember who put them there (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, June 23)?

Isn’t it time they too came together, giving serious consideration to telling the party whips to get lost and not letting up on matters Northern? Can’t the Northern Press shame and shove them as necessary?

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

THE open letter by TUC leader Bill Adams to Chris Grayling (The Yorkshire Post, June 26) raises two issues.

The first is single manning. Anyone who believes that the RMT is really concerned with what they like to call “safety issues” is naive. It’s about jobs. Nothing wrong with that, but the union shouldn’t pretend otherwise. A single guard on an “overcrowded” train would be as useful in a crisis as a chocolate teapot, but he would, at least, have a job, which is, or should be, all any trade union cares about.

The other issue is, of course, what should be done about train operator Northern? As things stand at the moment, no Transport Minister has the power to control the day-to-day affairs of a private railway company.

The suggestion is that, the Government should, in effect, turn back the clock to the halcyon days of British Rail. This would bring the whole railway system back into the remits of various government departments, including the Department for Transport.

Very few civil servants have any experience of running trains. Bill sees this as progress. But what it would do is give jobs for life to railway workers.

Which is just what any right-thinking trade union wants, isn’t it? Passengers?

Oh, they don’t really matter at all. To anybody.

From: Colin Cawthray, Stowe Garth, Bridlington.

LEEDS City Council Leader Councillor Judith Blake is leading a review of the rail disruptions. I really find this is farcical as Leeds City Council is run by a group of transport ignoramuses.

From: Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton.

IT’S great news that the improvements to the Barton Hill junction on the A64, which involved alterations to the former crossroads to become a staggered junction are completed.

I went to see if for myself with North Yorkshire county councillor, Caroline Goodrick, and her predecessor Sue Wood, with whom I have been campaigning for a number of years to ensure the junction is made safer by improving visibility at the junction with Main Lane.

This was one of the most dangerous junctions on one of the most dangerous sections of one of the most dangerous roads in the country. There is no doubt that the new system will have an immediate effect on road safety.

The Barton Hill junction had been a notorious blackspot for accidents and a cause of great concern for local people, so I am delighted that it has been made safer and would like to thank everyone involved in delivering the much needed improvements.

The work has taken more than six months so inevitably there have been some delays on that stretch of the road, but Highways England estimate that the improvements will benefit as many as 9,000 drivers and many more passengers every day.

From: Michael Green, Baghill Green, Tingley, Wakefield.

LEEDS Council is still proposing a system of charges (or fines, which is what they really are) for certain types of vehicle coming into the proposed Clean Air Zone.

I’m sure that the owners and operators of HGVs and other delivery lorries, buses, taxis, etc, will want to do their bit. So I’d like to suggest that they get together and announce, now, that when the clean air zone comes into force, they would propose to stop driving their vehicles into the zone completely; that they would instead just unload their passengers and goods at the boundary, to walk or be carried. That way, there would be an instant and dramatic fall in pollution.

Okay, the council won’t get its new eagerly anticipated income stream. And the city may well suffer a long and lingering death. But the air will be clean. And that’s what the council actually want, isn’t it? Surely it can’t be doing this just to rake in the money?

Publicity woe

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.

I AGREE with what Charles Mills, director of the Great Yorkshire Show, says about farm machinery on the showground. The coverage is fine, but my concern was the lack of pre-show publicity (The Yorkshire Post, June 27).

A class issue?

From: Max Nottingham, St Faith’s Street, Lincoln.

THERE is an ongoing debate about overweight children. Is it partly middle class professionals having a go at working class families?

To realists, England is the most class-ridden country in Europe. Anyone who hasn’t noticed that needs to get out more. I realise we have a serious weight problem. Perhaps the Government will start taking it seriously instead of just tinkering about.