YP Letters: Virgin has put millions into rail franchise

Controversy continues over the future of the East Coast Main Line.
Controversy continues over the future of the East Coast Main Line.
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From: David Horne, Managing Director, Virgin Trains.

PAM Ward (The Yorkshire Post, February 1) is wrong to assert that Virgin Trains and Stagecoach have been bailed out and are “taking money from the public”.

We are continuing to meet or exceed our commitments to customers and the Government. The franchise is underwritten by £165m committed by Virgin and Stagecoach to protect taxpayers – more than £100m of this has already been drawn upon.

We’re investing £140m in the East Coast route to bring customers more frequent, punctual and comfortable journeys, and we’re already seeing high customer satisfaction levels of 92 per cent as a result. We have also paid a third more in payments to the taxpayer than when the franchise was under public ownership.

From: Chris and Paul Horbury, Sheffield.

WE read Tom Richmond’s column (The Yorkshire Post, February 3) regarding the train service between Leeds and Sheffield with some amusement.

A couple of years ago we boarded a Northern Rail train in Sheffield going to Leeds.

It was raining, rain was running down the walls and some of the seats were wet with rain due to the roof leaking.

When the conductor approached us, I suggested that they should be paying us to travel on that train. He replied: “Madam, you may not believe it but this is one of our better trains.”

From: Dennis Whitaker, Baildon, Shipley.

RECENTLY, I went with two family members to Terminal One at Manchester Airport. On arrival, there was a line of oblique parking bays, under cover, enabling me to stop, unload and then drive out with ease – all free of charge!

If Leeds Bradford Airport wants better recognition, then it needs to stop fleecing the people who bring its very lifeblood (air passengers) to the front door – except, there is no front door, just an open car park at the mercy of all weathers.

Home truth on spending

From: R Lewis, Wakefield.

THOSE who seek to reduce house prices in the Yorkshire Dales by introducing punitive levels of taxation on second homes should be aware that this is a blunt instrument which may have unintended consequences.

Politicians have known for many years that people feel more prosperous and spend more when house prices are rising – and less so when prices are falling. This applies even to those who are not actively engaged with the housing market and may affect spending on anything ranging from a home extension to a new car or a foreign holiday.

Trade-offs in Brexit’s name

From: John Noton, Harrogate.

BEFORE the referendum, when asked how Britain would fill the trade void left by leaving the EU, the Leave campaign stressed that we would sell more to our Commonwealth friends.

Did they also envisage that our Prime Minister would be seen begging the vicious Communist state police that is China to take British goods and services? Not to mention Saudi Arabia? I don’t recall this ever being mentioned.

High price of immigration

From: J Hutchinson, Kirbymoorside.

FURTHER to Peter Broadley’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, February 2) regarding the housing problem and immigration. You can add the struggling NHS, schools, police, councils, border control and DWP benefits to the list of problem areas affected by this large influx of people.

You cannot add nearly half a million people a year to the population of our small country and expect to keep the status quo.

Voice control

From: Gerald Hodgson, Spennithorne, Leyburn.

ANTHONY Hopkins gets annoyed by the apparently banal voiceover commentary accompanying Michael Portillo’s railway programmes (The Yorkshire Post, January 31). I felt the same – until I discovered that this addition was provided for the benefit of blind and partially sighted viewers and can be switched off. If Mr Hopkins investigates his TV set, I think he will find that the annoyance can be removed.

No defence

From: Cecilia Mansfield, Dale View, Mytholmroyd.

WITH regard to the flood defences in Mytholmroyd and the amount of time it has already taken and the time it will take. To the powers that be, please take note: The Great Wall of China took 20 years to build and is 3,700 miles long, built with no mechanical equipment. Is this progress?

Laura unloved

From: W Forrest, Huddersfield.

RE your editorial “A thankless task” (The Yorkshire Post, February 3), I also thought Laura Kuenssberg’s attitude with Theresa May was totally out of place. She comes over full of her own importance and extremely arrogant. I am amazed that the BBC continues to use her as political editor.

Perfectly mad

From: John Goodman, Grove Close, Beverley.

I HEAR that there are proposals to plant large numbers of trees across Yorkshire, including the Yorkshire Wolds. The views here are of wide blue skies, far horizons and an ever changing wonderful kaleidoscope of colour. Why does anyone want to change perfection?