From: Gordon Lawrence, Sheffield.
It is not often I write in to congratulate Sheffield Council but, as reported by this paper (The Yorkshire Post, December 29), our city can now strip itself of the Pothole City epithet. A few years ago, Stephen Hawking could have continued his research on black holes without the use of telescopes by taking a trip up the M1 and wandering on our excuse for road transport.
Now, apart from a few marginal areas, we travel in smooth motion. Even the footpaths are models for fluent perambulation.
Of course, there have been some big problems along the way: most clearly, the almost fanatical desire of the council to fell any tree more than 60 years old.
Sheffield’s streets were and still are blessed with some huge specimens that environmentalists perceive mitigate pollution and reduce CO2.
The final truce shows how the persistence and determination of community can overcome the dogmatism of a local authority. Moreover, the whole project has a price tag of £2.2bn over the 25-year PFI contract.
PFIs have left a trail of debt across the public sector. But I think this one was worth it, for the transformation has been nothing short of spectacular.