YP Letters: Why couldn’t roads cope in the big freeze?

The empty M62 last Friday.
The empty M62 last Friday.
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From: Michael J Robinson, Berry Brow, Huddersfield.

WITH regard to the abysmal state of our roads (my car is due at the garage this week for repairs to a suspension arm), the problems arise at holes and trenches which have been filled in after a repair.

Even when the repair has been competently filled and the provision of a good road surface has been accomplished, the edges are no longer sealed with tar. Apparently these lengths of tar are slippy and have caused cyclists to have accidents.

The consequence is that water gets into the edges of these repairs. This water then expands when it freezes and degrades the joins causing the edges to crumble, creating bigger gaps for more water to penetrate and freeze and so on. We are all just about to find out how badly last week’s heavy frosts have affected our roads.

Just how many cyclists have come to grief on smooth tar edge seals, and how much grief is caused to cyclists by holes around repairs when tar sealing is no longer applied?

Is it not possible for councils to have penalty clauses written into the contracts of the utility companies and other sub-contractors requiring them not only to make good all the poor repairs where holes and trenches have settled and sunk, but also to pay to the councils amounts which will help to fund the compensation which councils are having to pay out to road users?

And by the way, has anyone else noticed how there never seem to be potholes on speed humps?

From: Geoffrey North, Windsor Mount, Leeds.

I TOTALLY agree with David Behrens (The Yorkshire Post, March 3) in that we are seeing an increasing tendency for the Met Office to over emphasise snow warnings etc. whenever there is a flake of snow on the horizon.

The problems are amplified, particularly by the London- based BBC, making mountains out of molehills when they get two inches of snow in the South. I am of an age which can remember far worse winters but schools didn’t close and buses and trains kept running and everybody just got on with life 
as well as possible.

From: Keith Jowett, Silkstone Common, Barnsley.

AT the end of the week of extreme weather, I exchanged correspondence with a teacher friend who lives in Baden-Württemberg, south Germany. I informed him that we had suffered temperatures, which even in the daytime did not rise above freezing, and that motorways had been closed for many hours, while hundreds of schools were also closed.

His reply was that they had experienced a similar air flow to ours, which they called ‘The Russian Winter’ (shades of 1812 came to mind). Their night temperatures had been as low as minus 20 degrees and the days had seen the temperature rise to a ‘mild’ minus 4. He could not recall any school closures since 1996. He also pointed out one key fact in that it was compulsory for German motorists to fit winter tyres, with high penalties for non-compliance. The result is that only very extreme weather in Germany can cause the kind of traffic problems which Britain has faced in the past week.

From: Paul White, Tennyson Road, Bradford.

AIRLINES are often criticised for poor service, so it’s good to be able to praise Jet2.com for the speed with which they recovered from the recent bad weather to get people back to the UK.

In common with other holidaymakers, we were concerned with the disruption to flights and in particular the closures on two days of Leeds Bradford Airport, as we were due to return home on Friday.

We were relieved to receive a text message and subsequent email from Jet2 advising us of their schedules for Friday from Malaga and (would you believe?) apologising that our flight would be delayed by an hour.

We understand that staff at Jet2 worked through the night sorting out the logistics and advising passengers where possible of the arrangements.

Well done to all involved a terrific team and company effort appreciated by your customers.

From: Gwyn Barrass, Whitley Lane, Grenoside, Sheffield.

MANY thanks to all Thomas Cook staff for our excellent care when delayed in Lanzarote. We were well informed by reps who kept us updated. We were taken to a four star hotel for the night and then taken back to the airport. We had drinks and a meal on the flight home. All this was free, even though we had just booked flight only! Well done to all the brilliant staff.

From: Robin Ashley, Sheffield Road, South Anston.

LIKE many others, I watched the series of TV programmes depicting the chaos on Britain’s roads in the recent weather.

Did other people notice how many vehicles were displaying no lights despite being in almost white-out conditions and often being in close company with other illuminated vehicles?

How many vehicles, more particularly commercial vehicles, have snow chains? None, I guess, and yet every time there are traffic hold-ups you can guarantee at the head of it will be an articulated lorry incapable of moving up the slightest incline. I remember only a few years ago similar chaos caused by exactly the above, the A57 passing by my house was impossibly blocked. Should lorries have to carry snow chains by law?

When I go to Canada to visit my daughter, it is interesting to find that their infrastructure doesn’t grind to a halt in far worse conditions.

From: Sheila Ashley (nee Edgar), Oswestry.

I HAVE been thinking, during the snow, about the daffodils along the bank of the river at Helmsley.

I went to school at Helmsley – my father was farm manager for Lord Feversham, and I well remember the pupils planting sacks and sacks of daffodils bulbs. If I remember rightly a local butcher (Mr Nicholson?) donated them. Did we plant them to commemorate the Coronation?

I’m sure some of your readers would remember planting them.